Lewis County waylays LMS Tigerettes

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The Lewisburg Middle School Tigerettes finished second in the TMSAA Area 2 Class AA tournament. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Lewis County halted the Lewisburg Middle Tigerettes' magical run through the TMSAA Area 2 Class AA tournament, as the top seeded Lady Panthers thumped LMS 52-17 in the championship game on Saturday afternoon in Hohenwald.

Boasting a stellar 20-0 record coming into Saturday's contest, Lewis County dominated the game from start to finish and built a 26-11 lead in the first half before outscoring the Tigerettes 26-6 over the final two quarters en route to claiming the title.

Despite Saturday's loss, LMS advances to the Middle Tennessee Class AA Sectional tournament where they will face Harpeth in the first round at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday night at E.O. Coffman Middle School.

"Even though we lost, I'm so proud of our team. The last week has been a fun, wild ride and it's been great for the program," said Lewisburg coach Chris Coleman. "Hopefully we can carry this over to the Sectional tournament. They accomplished a lot this week and this result doesn't take away from that."

Bolstered by a 12-of-19 shooting performance in the second half, the Lady Panthers shot a torrid 53 percent (20-of-38) from the field overall, while committing only 14 turnovers and knocking down 12-of-17 free throws.

Although they made 9-of-15 free throws, the Tigerettes (5-11) mustered just four field goals on 14 percent shooting, which included a 0-of-8 effort from beyond the arc, while turning the ball over 23 times.

LMS did hold a 9-8 edge on the offensive glass, but the Lady Panthers outrebounded Lewisburg 22-17 overall.

Lewisburg's Leah Hollingsworth (left) and Zachuriya O'Neal (right) were named to the TMSAA Area 2 Class AA All-Tournament Team.

"Lewis County is an outstanding team. They have great guard play. They have good post play. They have a good press and play tough man-to-man defense. They're just solid from top to bottom," said Coleman. "They broke down our defense and scored several back door layups because they pass the ball extremely well."

Point guard Zachuriya O'Neal led the Tigerettes with nine points and three steals, while Leah Hollingsworth added four points. Britni Davis and Alli Hobbs chipped in two points for Lewisburg as well.

Center Lainey Bell paced the Lady Panthers with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists. Loren Runions followed Bell with eight points and five assists, and Mattie King tallied five points and four steals. Ashley Floyd, Landree Carroll, and Cailey McCann also notched four points apiece, while Lauren Graves had three points. Maggie West, Alisse Robinson, and Sailor Selby rounded out the scoring for Lewis County with two points each.