CLINTON—Oak Ridge junior Mykia Dowdell was named most valuable player and the Lady Wildcats won their second straight District 3-AAA championship with a 59-34 victory over Powell at Clinton on Tuesday.
Oak Ridge (26-3) will play Bearden in a first-round Region 2-AAA tournament game at Wildcat Arena at 7 p.m. Friday. The Lady Bulldogs (24-3) lost to Hardin Valley 58-50 in a third-place District 4-AAA game at Hardin Valley Academy on Monday.
Dowdell led the Lady Wildcats with 21 points in the District 3 championship game against Powell on Tuesday, and she had at least six rebounds. She had eight points in the first quarter alone, and another six in the second.
While Dowdell was named MVP, three other Oak Ridge players were also named to the District 3-AAA All Tournament Team on Tuesday: senior Courtney Ellison, junior Jaymi Golden, and sophomore Jada Guinn.
Oak Ridge Coach Paige Green said the Lady Wildcats, the top seed in the district tournament, did a great job defensively, often only allowing Powell one shot before pulling down the rebound. They were also able to get the ball inside the paint to Dowdell and other players, including on fast breaks, usually for layups—especially in the first half. Oak Ridge had a 16-point lead at halftime, 31-17.
In addition to Dowdell’s 21 points, Guinn added 16, and junior Desiree Bates had 10.
The Lady Panthers (20-10), the number three seed, were hurt when one of their top players, junior point guard Haley Schubert, fouled out with five fouls at 5:26 in the fourth quarter. Schubert led Powell with 13 points.
Powell, the District 3-AAA runner-up, will play Hardin Valley (21-8), which finished third in District 4, at Powell at 7 p.m. Friday.
Three Lady Panthers were also named to the District 3-AAA All Tournament Team on Tuesday. They were Schubert and seniors Kaitlyn Lentz and Madison Tidmore. Lentz scored 10 points for Powell against Oak Ridge.
Other All Tournament players included Madison Brady and Sarah Cain of Campbell County, and Brooklin McCoy and Maddie Sickau of Anderson County.
Oak Ridge also beat Powell twice during the regular season.
The Lady Wildcats advanced to the Tuesday championship by beating Anderson County 61-45 in a District 3-AAA semifinal game at Clinton on Saturday. The Lady Mavericks, the number five seed in the district tournament, beat Campbell County, the number two seed, in the third-place game at Clinton on Monday.
In other Region 2 contests on Friday, Anderson County (14-19) will play at William Blount (20-10), the District 4 runner-up, and Campbell County (22-8), will play at Maryville (18-11), the District 4 champion.
Oak Ridge and Bearden last met on March 2, 2016. During that game, which some people considered an upset, the Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Bulldogs 49-35 for the Region 2-AAA championship before going on to eventually finish as state runner-up in Class AAA.
Earlier in the season last year, the Oak Ridge girls won their first district championship since 2010 with a 52-34 win over Campbell County at Anderson County High School.
The Lady Wildcats have now had two straight seasons where they have been undefeated during the regular season in District 3-AAA.
Green, who is in her second year coaching at Oak Ridge, gave credit to the team.
“It’s the girls,” she said.
The Lady Wildcats were also led by a player who scored 21 points during last year’s District 3-AAA championship. In 2016, it was Guinn, who was then a freshman, who scored 21 and was named MVP.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See our previous story on the District 3-AAA basketball tournament here.
See more photos from the game here.
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