Note: This story was last updated at 7 a.m. March 9.
Oak Ridge was eliminated by Bradley Central, 56-50, in overtime of a semifinal game in the state basketball tournament in Murfreesboro on Friday.
The Lady Wildcats (34-3) trailed by 10 points early, and they were behind at the end of the first and second quarters.
But Oak Ridge outscored the Bearettes 11-3 in the third quarter to take a 36-31 lead.
However, Bradley Central (33-3) rallied behind the 12 points (six points each) of Jamaryn Blair and Anna Walker to tie the score at 43 at the end of the fourth quarter.
Bradley Central made 11 three throws in the overtime period to help outscore Oak Ridge 13-7 in those four minutes to take the six-point win.
Bradley Central will move on to play Houston (31-2) in the Class AAA state girls basketball championship game in Murphy Center at Middle Tennessee State University on Saturday. Houston advanced by beating Riverdale (31-2), which has won the state championship three years in a row, in the other semifinal game on Friday.
The season is over for Oak Ridge, which had a 31-game winning streak before Friday’s loss.
Oak Ridge was led by the 20 points of sophomore Khamari Mitchell-Steen, who also had four steals and seven rebounds. Senior Jada Guinn, a Miss Basketball finalist who has signed to play at Tennessee Tech, scored 15 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and had five steals, three assists, and three blocks. Senior Shatyrah Copeland pulled down eight rebounds for the Lady Wildcats.
Bradley Central was led by Blair, a sophomore who had a game-high 22 points. Walker added 18 points, and she had three steals and pulled down seven rebounds. Kaleigh Hughes also had seven rebounds for the Bearettes. Blair shot 10-of-13 from the free throw line.
Oak Ridge advanced to the semifinal game on Friday by beating Science Hill in a quarterfinal game on Thursday, and Bradley Central advanced by defeating Lebanon in another quarterfinal game.
It’s not clear that many people expected Oak Ridge, which had some youth and inexperience earlier this season, to get as far as they did. The Lady Wildcats lost a group of experienced seniors after last season, and four of them (Mykia Dowdell, Jaymi Golden, Desiree Bates, and Destiny Kassner) went on to play college basketball.
Lady Wildcats Coach Paige Redman and Guinn, who has played varsity basketball all four years at Oak Ridge, have cited as important to the season, or the time when things “started to click,” a stretch of games in December. During that time, Oak Ridge played eight games in 11 days at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix and the Andrew Johnson Bank Ladies Classic in Greenville. Oak Ridge won all of those games, and the Lady Wildcats hadn’t lost any games since then, until Friday.
See the game statistics and play-by-play of Friday’s semifinal game here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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