Note: This story was last updated at 7:15 p.m.
MURFREESBORO—Senior Rachel Griffith of Oliver Springs scored 25 points, and her twin sister Emily Griffith had 14 points and six assists as the Lady Bobcats coasted to a 67-41 win over Decatur County Riverside in a state Class A girls’ quarterfinal game in Murfreesboro on Friday.
“During tournament time, they really, really stepped it up and started playing at a different level,” Oliver Springs Coach Michelle Christopher said of the sisters, who are both 5-foot-5 senior guards. “They both played really big today.”
Rachel Griffith, who led all scorers, picked up 19 of her points in the second half, including on repeated trips to the free-throw line. Griffith shot seven of 11 from the field and was 10 of 13 from the line.
As a team, the Lady Bobcats shot 60 percent (22 of 37) from the field. Meanwhile, Riverside struggled at 25 percent (14 of 57).
“Anytime you win a game in the state tournament, it’s big,” Christopher said. “The kids just really went out and played really well today.”
Oliver Springs (29-6) will play Clarkrange (30-5) in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. Eastern) Saturday, March 7, at Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Christopher said Clarkrange has some big post players and is well-coached.
It’s the first trip to the state tournament for the Oliver Springs girls since 2009. Christopher said they had been four years in a row and were the state runner-up once and lost in a semifinal game once.
Before it became a blowout, Friday’s game against Riverside was closer at halftime, when Oliver Springs had a six-point 25-19 lead. But the Lady Bobcats outscored the Lady Panthers by 17-5 in the third quarter and 25-17 in the fourth.
Oliver Springs hit 4 of 10 three-point shots during the game (40 percent), while Riverside knocked down 4 of 20 (20 percent).
The Lady Bobcats also shot 76 percent from the line (19 of 25). The Lady Panthers were 69 percent from the line (9 of 13), but had fewer attempts than Oliver Springs.
Lauren Morgan added 12 points and picked up seven rebounds and three assists for Oliver Springs. Christopher said the junior wing hit a couple of three-point shots in the first half that were huge, and Morgan played well defensively.
“She played big today,” Christopher said.
Senior post Courtney Jones added six points, six rebounds, and one assist for the Lady Bobcats.
Senior Bree Linton of Riverside (24-9), who fouled out late in the game, led the Lady Panthers with 10 points and nine rebounds. Linton also had two assists.
Christopher said the Lady Bobcats were able to shoot layups and in the paint in the second half, and the team also executed well, getting a lot of open looks against the Lady Panthers’ man-to-man coverage.
“We were really able to get quite a few quick hitters,” Christopher said.
Riverside tried applying pressure, but that doesn’t work well against the twins, she said, because they can find people.
The Lady Bobcats had a 33-27 rebounding advantage.
Senior Holly Chumney had eight points, including two three-pointers, and four rebounds and two assists for the Lady Panthers.
See the 2015 BlueCross Basketball Championship playoff bracket here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.