Girls District Tournament play- Bulldogs advance, Rangers and Highlanders will play consolation

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Hampton 64 Unaka 44
The Lady Rangers were not going to go down easy but eventually the Lady Bulldogs were able to take advantage of late turnovers and the inability of the Lady Rangers to hit 3-pointers to get the hard fought win. At West Ridge High School, the early first period was a back-and-forth affair. Lyndie Ramsey was going to do what Lyndie Ramsey does, which is score points but the combination of Madison McClain, Piper Helle and Linsey Jenkins were able to match her point for point; going late into the first period the Lady Bulldogs sparked by the long distance shooting of McClain were able to go up 20-10 in the second period.
Ramsey’s aggressive play would get her to the free-throw line several times in the second and the Lady Rangers would close the lead down to just eight going into the break. The Lady Bulldogs would start to slowly distance in the third period as they would go on a 12-4 run, aided by a Ryleigh Nickles 3-pointer,  to push the lead back to 14, Ramsey would hit a 12 foot jumper to close the lead back down to 11 but the Rangers would struggle with ball security late and go 1 of 17 in 3-point shooting for the night to stall any late runs they might have had.
Ramsey led all scorers with 31; the Lady Bulldogs were led by Linsey Jenkins who finished the night with 18 while Madison McClain chipped in 14, hitting four 3-pointers, Macy Henry chipped in 12. The Lady Bulldogs will play North Greene in the Championship game next Tuesday night and will also get to host a game in the opening round of the Regions.
North Greene 40 Cloudland 34
In a game in which points came at a premium, Cloudland lacked one final push to get them across the finish line. The game would be a back-and-forth contest that would see no team grab a measurable advantage until late. Kendall Birchfield would get things rolling for the Highlanders with a 3-pointer but the Lady Huskies would answer right back and eventually end the first period with a slim two-point advantage. The second period would see Ryan Turbyfill and Birchfield both try to spark their teams with 3-pointers. After Birchfield’s three, the Lady Highlanders would take a 16-14 lead, but the Lady Huskies hit a short jumper and the 1 of 2 free throws to take a 17-16 lead into the locker room.
The see-saw action would continue, but one thing was starting to come into focus, the Lady Highlanders were starting to have issues with the Lady Huskies in the post. The game would be knotted up at 24 all, with 2:03 left in the third period. But the Huskies would go on a 5-0 run to push the game to a 29-24 advantage Lady Huskies. North Greene would push the lead to nine, before Benefield would hit a floater to stop the bleeding. The Lady Highlanders would struggle to hit shots in the final period scoring just 10 points in the final period, most of that in the opening minutes of the fourth,  and would get no closer than six points on the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The Lady Highlanders were led by Ryan Turbyfill with 12 and Benfield would chip in eight on the night. The Lady Highlanders will next play Unaka on Monday night in the consolation game and have to hit the road with the Regional Tournament begins.

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