The Eastside Lady Bulldogs ended their regular season in first place despite a few hiccups along the way. Centertown disposed of its first-round opponent Tuesday night and earned a spot in the semifinals versus the Lady Bulldogs.
Eastside came out and attacked the Lady Warriors on both ends of the floor. The pressure defense created havoc in the backcourt for Centertown as the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Warriors, 36-18.
Lady Bulldog Rylie Crawford led all scorers with a game-high 15 points. Her biggest quarter was the second where she had six and led Eastside to a 19-7 halftime lead.
Eastside struggled early in the game to find its range. The Lady Bulldogs had little trouble against the pressure defense applied by the Lady Warriors. MaKenna Mason weaved though the defense and went coast-to-coast for her first basket.
It was Lexi Loader next who made a quick move to the inside and she scored.
Centertown did not get anything handed to them in the first quarter. Jaden Smartt was the only Lady Warrior to find the range in the first and at the end of one Centertown trailed 6-2.
The Eastside offense clicked in the second quarter and Crawford felt it. She dropped in six points and the Lady Warrior defense could not stop her inside. Mason again went straight to the rim and scored for Eastside. She shot 1-for-3 from the charity stripe before the half.
Centertown settled down slightly from its dismal first quarter. Ricki Valenta made her way inside the Lady Bulldog defense and scored her first points of the game. Brianna Hartl was fouled and shot 1-of-2 from the free-throw line and at the half Centertown trailed 19-7.
Eastside stumbled in the third and the offense went backward. The Lady Bulldogs made the necessary adjustments and increased their intensity in the fourth. Crawford went back to work inside again in the fourth along with teammate Kapri Talley.
Clara Brackley spotted up at the top of the key and buried the long jumper over the Centertown defense.
The Lady Warriors picked up several hard fouls in the third and struggled on free throw attempts. The Lady Warriors shot 1-of-6 from the free-throw line.
In the fourth quarter, Taylor Pegg attempted to spark the Centertown offense and hoisted a 3-pointer. She made the long-range jumper.
The Eastside defense was relentless down the stretch and the Lady Bulldogs held on and defeated Centertown, 36-18. Eastside advanced to the championship round Saturday with results not available at press time.
LADY BULLDOG SCORING – Rylie Crawford 15, Kapri Talley 6, MaKenna Mason 5, Lexi Loader 4, Katie Bost 2, Shani Palombo 2, Clara Brackley 2
LADY WARRIOR SCORING – Ricki Valenta 5, Jaden Smartt 4, Taylor Pegg 3, Madison Hollis 2, Madalyn Stubblefield 2, Briana Hartl 1, Makayla Johnson 1.