Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Arlington edges past Ridgeway in AAA sub-state

image and article from Commercial Appeal

Arlington standout Tori Sewell has a message for the rest of the girls basketball teams in the state.

“We’re coming.”

And the Tigers are bringing Bartlett and Craigmont with them.

Three area teams advanced to the girls state tournament Monday night, led by Arlington’s 52-49 victory over a Ridgeway team that spent the entire season ranked first in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen and also was ranked as high as fourth nationally.

The Tigers — the champions of Region 7 — will be joined in the AAA tournament by Bartlett, which knocked off Region 8 winner Overton, 46-42. Craigmont will represent AA this week after a 69-55 victory over Crockett County.

Sewell scored 19 points to lead the giant-killing Tigers, who will be playing in the state tournament for the first time in school history. Their win over Ridgeway follows a victory over previously undefeated Dyer County in the semifinals of last week’s Region 7 tournament.

“We just kept our composure,” said Sewell. “It didn’t matter if we were up or down, we just kept our composure.”

Added Raegyn Branch, “We played with a lot of heart.”

Arlington, which will take a 26-9 record into Wednesday’s 2:45 p.m. game against Morristown West at MTSU’s Murphy Center, had an outstanding defensive game while keeping the tempo right where they wanted it.

Ridgeway — which was led by 20 points from Brandi Beasley — hung tough, though, and pulled to within 51-49 after a putback by Elizabeth Dixon with 10.3 seconds left. Cheiyanne Norton then hit 1 of 2 free throws and Breouanna Humphrey’s 3 at the buzzer was off the mark.

Branch added 11 for the Tigers while Eryn Foster scored 12 for Ridgeway, which ends the year with two straight losses after winning its first 28.

At Overton, Charity Savage poured in 29 points to send the Panthers (21-10) to state for the first time since 2008. Bartlett will open against Murfreesboro Oakland on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

“We switched from a 2-3 zone to a soft man to try and take away their guard penetration,” said Panthers coach Lynn Whitfield. “Overton does a great job with their pressure defense, but we did a great job of handling their pressure.”

Few teams anywhere will enter the state tournament on as good a roll as Craigmont. The Chiefs will take a 15-game winning streak into Thursday’s 2:15 p.m. quarterfinal against McMinn Central.
Daja Scurlock had 18 to lead the Chiefs (27-6). Kiara Caswell had 15 and Danielle Conley chipped in with 14.

“Kiara Caswell and Danielle Conley really stepped their games up,” said Chiefs coach Tim Anderson. “They made some runs, but we did a great job of answering them.”

Ridgeway (49) — Brandi Beasley 20, Oreonna Brown 2, Alexus Bryson 2, Elizabeth Dixon 2, Eryn Foster 12, Breouanna Humphrey 9, Tierney Paylor 2.
Arlington (52) — Raegyn Branch 11, Mirrakohl Johnson 9, Ashley Lee 2, Callie McMorran 6, Cheiyanne Norton 5, Tori Sewell 19.
Ridgeway 6 12 15 16—49
Arlington 7 16 11 18—52
Records — Ridgeway 28-2, Arlington 26-9.

Bartlett (46) — Madelyn Anguiano 13, Ashley Payne 2, Charity Savage 29, Dee Dee Williams 2.
Overton (42) — Rodrea Echols 12, Marquesha Fennell 4, Kyla Green 6, Dontrecia Johnson 3, Jalisa Jones 8, Ciera Pettis 4, Kayla Williams 5.
Bartlett 5 11 19 11—46
Overton 10 13 9 10—42
Records — Bartlett 21-10, Overton 24-5.

Crockett Co. (55) — Hart 21, Pratt 9, K. Robertson 6, Patterson 16, Taylor 3.
Craigmont (69) — Kiara Caswell 15, Danielle Conley 14, Keveana Fayne 6, Alexis McFarland 7, Morgan Morris 9, Daja Scurlock 18.
Crockett Co. 10 12 16 17—55
Craigmont 17 12 17 23—69
Records — Crockett Co. 22-10, Craigmont 27-6.

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