Lovelady 65 Itasca 22
By Will Johnson
FAIRFIELD – Following a grueling 48-45 win over the Centerville Lady Tigers, the Lovelady Lady Lions were awarded the second seed out of District 20-2A. As a result the Lady Lions drew the third-place team out of District 19-2A in the Bi-District round of the playoffs.
The Lady Tigers drew the second seed out of District 19-2A, the Cayuga Lady Wildcats, and easily disposed of the Cayuga squad by a score of 50-23 to win their Bi-District matchup.
The Lady Lions also had an easy go of it in the first round of the playoffs as they blasted the Itasca Lady Wampus Cats by a final of 65-22 to advance to the Area round of the postseason.
Despite the final score, the game between Lovelady and Itasca was relatively close during the first half of play.
The Lady Lions showcased both their inside and outside game during the first eight minutes of the game. Skye Watts hit a pair of three-pointers while Kaiden LeMaire worked her way inside for six points. Jala Rollo also connected from behind the arc and Sarah Thompson powered her way down low for two points.
Even though the Lovelady inside /outside game was working effectively, the Lady Wampus Cats managed to stay within striking distance at 17-10 by the end of period. Malacia Guy dropped in seven points while Fayth Searcy added three for Itasca.
The second quarter signaled the beginning of the end for the Lady Wampus Cats. Guy nailed a three and converted one of two from the line but Itasca only managed one more point from Kaylee Cole.
Lovelady continued to fire away from outside as Watts dropped in two more threes. Rajanae Polhamus also added a three while Baylee Granberry made one of two from the charity stripe to give the Lady Lions a 27-15 lead at the half.
After the break, the Lady Lions put the game away as they scored 18 points in the third quarter while they held Itasca to a two-pointer from Searcy.
Meanwhile, Lovelady got six points from both LeMaire and Watts, while Rollo, Thompson and Shyanne Pipkin all had two apiece to give the Lady Lions a 45-17 lead with three quarters in the books.
The fourth quarter wasn’t much better than the third for the Lady Wampus Cats as they only managed five points on a three from Mariah Whitlock and a two from Kaylee Cole.
LeMaire and Rollo both went for six in Lovelady’s fourth quarter while Granberry had four. Both Pipkin and Thompson chipped in two to help give the Lady Lions a 65-22 victory, as well as the Bi-District Championship.
On the game the Lady Wampus Cats were paced by Malacia Guy with 11 points and Fayth Searcy with five. Both Kaylee Cole and Mariah Whitlock added three to round out the Itasca scoring.
The Lady Lions were led in scoring by Kaiden LeMaire and Skye Watts with 18 points apiece. Jala Rollo had 11, Sarah Thompson went for six and Baylee Granberry had five. Shyanne Pipkin added four and Rajanae Polhamus knocked down a three-pointer to round out the Lovelady point production.
The win moves the Lady Lions into the Area round where they faced the Crawford Lady Pirates in Jewett on Friday, Feb. 15. Unfortunately, the final score was unavailable as of press time.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.