Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tough third quarter ends Briarcrest girls' run at state

image and article from

Briarcrest's Samantha McColgan (back) tries to steal the ball from Girls Preparatory School's Chadarryl during the Division II Class AA girls' semifinals at Allen Arena at Lipscomb University in Nashville.
The Briarcrest girls basketball team got caught up in a numbers game today at the BlueCross Division 2-AA semifinals. And the totals just didn’t add up.

Chattanooga Girls Preparatory school opened the second half on a 12-0 run to break open a close game and used a big advantage at the free-throw line to defeat the Lady Saints, 65-51.

The loss ends Briarcrest’s season with a 26-4 record. GPS, which will take on Nashville Ensworth in Saturday’s championship game, improves to 24-4.

“We didn’t guard the baseline like we needed to,” Saints coach Lee Smith said. “But the thing that jumps out at me is free throws. I don’t understand how a team that plays man-to-man and is trapping the whole game shoots 33 free throws and we shoot only nine.”

It was a telling stat; GPS made 21 from the line; Briarcrest made just seven. That 14-point margin was exactly what the Bruisers won by.

“I understand we were (behind) in the last minute and had to foul,” Smith said. “They are a very, very good team. But if you give me 33 attempts, I’ll beat you.”

Another number that hurt Briarcrest was GPS’ No. 5, Miss Basketball finalist Chadarryl Clay. The 5-8 Auburn signee scored 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

The Saints trailed just 26-24 after the first half, then watched the Bruisers take control with their game-defining spurt. Smith called two timeouts in an effort to get things back on track, but to no avail.

It was a frustrating finish for Saints senior Lauren Douglas, who was saddled with foul trouble for much of the game. The Northwestern signee — like Clay, a Miss Basketball finalist — finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

“I felt like I let my team down,” she said.

The closest Briarcrest got after that was nine, when Emoni Harvey scored inside early in the fourth to make it 50-41.

“I felt like we could have come back,” said senior Dakota Doss, who had a fine game for the Saints with 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range and 10 rebounds.

It was a fine curtain call for Doss, who had to sit out after transferring from Houston High and then missed Briarcrest’s state tournament run last year with a torn ACL.

“I just thank God for getting me healthy and back on the court,” she said.

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