Junior Lady Longhorns suffer setback to Mammoth Spring in finals
The Viola Junior Lady Longhorns' dreams of adding a district tournament title to its regular-season championship in the 1A-2 North came up just a bit short, as Mammoth Spring topped the junior Lady Horns 29-26 Feb. 10 in the tourney finals at Williford.
Viola had racked up a spotless 10-0 conference mark in regular-season play.
In the tournament's semi-final round, the top-seeded junior Lady Horns (16-6) knocked down seven treys in the first three periods of play, en route to a 45-18 win over fourth-seeded Mount Pleasant Feb. 9.
Dedra Johnston (14 points) canned three of her game-high four triples in the first period of play, while Leslie Barker (14 points) hit two 3-balls for Viola.
The junior Lady Bluebirds know a thing or two about connecting from long range, and Tori Taylor opened the scoring for Mount Pleasant with a long trey early in the first.
Taylor's 3-bomb gave Mount Pleasant a 3-2 lead, but as things unfolded, that also turned out to be the junior Lady Bluebirds' only lead of the afternoon.
Johnston got on track for Viola and nailed three treys over the course of the next two minutes of play, staking the junior Lady Longhorns to a 14-7 advantage after one.
Mount Pleasant found scoring opportunities scarce in the second period of play, as Viola's harassing full-court pressure made open looks hard to acquire for the junior Lady Bluebirds.
Sara Adams (nine points) recorded all of Mount Pleasant's points in the second on a free throw and hoop, as Viola outpaced the junior Lady Bluebirds 9-3 in the stanza.
Taylor Griggs racked up Viola's first bucket of the frame, while Barker knocked down the last five points of the period, including a triple, as the junior Lady Horns took a 23-10 lead to the break.
It was more Barker early in the third, as she went on a personal 7-0 run to start the frame for Viola.
A jumper by Mount Pleasant's Kallie Johnson (four points) stopped Barker's run, but the junior Lady Bluebirds trailed 30-12 with 3:32 left in the third.
Johnston closed the book on the third with her last 3-pointer of the afternoon, sending Viola into the fourth period with a 35-14 advantage.
Michaela Thompson (six points) tossed in four points in the fourth for Viola, as the junior Lady Longhorns punched their ticket to the finals with a 45-18 victory over Mount Pleasant.
Alexandria Duncan tallied two points for Viola.
Jordan Edwards finished with two points for the junior Lady Bluebirds.
Mount Pleasant earned a date with Viola in the semis after blasting Oak Ridge Central 46-29 Feb. 5.
Taylor paced the junior Lady Bluebirds with 14, while Adams added 10.