LMS Tigerettes fall to Lewis County
The Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes (8-9) were denied a spot in the finals of the TMSAA Area 2 Class AA tournament after losing 35-23 at home to the Lewis County Panthers in the semifinals on Tuesday night.
Coming off a hard fought 33-30 win over Hickman County in the first round of the tourney three days earlier, the Lady Panthers steadily pulled away from LMS in Tuesday's contest and held a 19-12 lead at the break before outscoring Lewisburg 16-11 in the second half to take home the 12-point victory.
Although both teams finished with nine field goals apiece, Lewis County held a significant edge at the foul line and knocked down 17 of 23 free throws, while the Tigerettes went to the charity stripe just eight times, hitting five. The Lady Panthers also out-rebounded LMS 33-21 and held a 14-8 advantage on the offensive boards.
"We said going in that the two most important things that we had to do tonight was rebound well and keep them off the free-throw line. We just didn't get that done," said Lewisburg coach Chris Coleman. "Lewis County had a great game plan and executed it. They outplayed us tonight so give them credit."
Point guard Makiya Morris led Lewisburg with 12 points, five rebounds, and two blocked shots, while center Alexis Ford tallied six points and five rebounds. Taianda Hutton and Zachariya O'Neal chipped in three and two points respectively for the Tigerettes as well.
Jaci Duncan paced the Lady Panthers with 17 points, while Lainey Bell and Loren Runions added eight and four points respectively.
Lewisburg inched out to an 8-7 lead midway through the first quarter on the strength of three baskets from Morris and a Ford layup, but Lewis County rattled off eight straight points to grab a 15-8 advantage with 4:27 left in the second period.
After the Tigerettes narrowed the gap to 15-12 thanks to a layup by Ford and a Morris jumper, the Lady Panthers notched the final four points of the half to take a 19-12 lead into the break.
LMS outscored Lewis County 5-4 in the third quarter with the help of a Hutton free throw and baskets by Ford and Morris to trim the deficit to 23-17, before the Lady Panthers tallied four of the first five points in the fourth period to open up a 27-18 advantage.
Morris hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 27-20 with 4:00 left, but Lewis County closed the game with an 8-3 run to secure their 35-23 win.