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WCHS Lady Cats Return to State Tournament

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The Wayne County High School Wildcats lost on Tuesday night in the Region 5-1A semi-final round of the 2022 – 2023 TSSAA basketball tourney. The ‘Cats matched up with Moore County again this year after losing to them last season in the region. The Ladycats eliminated Moore County in the semi-finals and Huntland for the Region 5-1A Championship. On Saturday night, the Ladycats claimed their place on the tourney bracket for the Blue Cross Championships in Murfreesboro by defeating Perry County for the second time this season.

Monday night, the Ladycats matched up with the Moore County Raiderettes in semi-final action of the region tourney.  The Ladycat defense forced 5 early turnovers as they went on to take an 18 – 12 first quarter lead. They pushed the margin to 39 – 23 by the half and were never threatened as they took the win, 69 – 47, to advance to the championship game on Wednesday night and also to the Sectional round of the TSSAA Class 1A tourney.

Blair Baugus led the way with 26 points, 14 boards, 5 blocks, and 3 assists. Lauren Bryant hit for double figures with 16 points and had 3 boards, a steal, and 4 assists. Kylee Brewer came off the bench to hit for 10 points and had 6 boards and a steal. Kenzie Griggs and Jac Keaton each had 6 points. Griggs had 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and Keaton had 3 boards, 7 steals, and 3 assists. Alexis Maghielse was 4 of 4 from the line and had 3 rebounds, a steal, and 2 assists.  Lauren Prater had 1 point, and  Isabel Luedeke and Emma Bryant each  had a rebound. The Ladycats forced 16 turnovers and outrebounded the Raiderettes, 35 – 24.

The Wildcats managed to take a 14 – 13 lead after one quarter of action in their semi-final game of the tourney. They trailed 26 – 25 by halftime. The teams played even in the third. Going into the final quarter, it remained a one-point margin, 36 – 35. With five minutes remaining in the game, the ‘Cats missed a free throw that would have put them on top. A couple of minutes later, they trailed 44 – 39. Moore County missed 2 at the line but the ‘Cats couldn’t cash the misses in and saw the lead grow to 7, 46 – 39. The Wildcats airballed a 3 on their next possession and fouled. Moore County was 1 of 2 from the line to make to 47 – 39. Logan Davis hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 47 – 41. With 1:32 remaining in the game, the Raiders hit two free throws to up the margin to 49 – 41. A Cayman Camfield 3 with 1:10 remaining made it 49 – 44. More County missed a 1 and 1 attempt which gave the ‘Cats an opportunity. Cooper Shamer hit a three to narrow the margin to 49 – 47, but then the Raiders answered with a pair of free throws, a steal, and a lay-up to make the score 53 – 47. Another Wildcat turnover and foul gave the Raiders a chance at the line. They hit 1 of 2 to make it 54 – 47. The ‘Cats got another basket, but the Raiders answered it with 4.6 seconds to make the final score 56 – 49.

Cayman Camfield led the ‘Cats with 15 points on the night. He had 9 boards and a steal. Cooper Shamer hit for 10 points with one rebound and 2 assists. Justice Bell scored 7 points and had 3 rebounds, a steal, and an assist. Landyn Prater and Sayler Skelton each scored 6 points. Prater had 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 assists, while Skelton had 3 boards and 2 steals. Eli McClain had 3 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist, and Logan Davis had 2 points with a rebound and an assist. Will Robertson had a rebound. The ‘Cats got beat on the boards, 37 – 26 and shot only 32.7% from the field.  They were 5 of 10 from the foul line. With the loss, the ‘Cats were eliminated from tourney play and finish the season with a 16 – 13 record.

The Ladycats matched up with the Huntland Lady Hornets on Wednesday night for the Region 5 – 1A Championship.  The teams played to a 9 – 9 tie at the end of the first as Annie Lee hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer. The Ladycats were down as much as 10 in the first half, 27 – 17, but fought back as Lauren Bryant and Kenzie Griggs each hit a three. A Jac Keaton layup and Blair Baugus offensive rebound and put back tied the contest at 31 all. Another Lauren Bryant three at the third quarter buzzer gave the Ladycats their first lead, 34 – 33. The fourth quarter went back and forth, with neither team taking charge. They played to a 45 all tie at the end of regulation.  In the extra period, the teams played even. With the score being 52 all and fifteen seconds left on the clock, the Ladycats called a time-out to set up a play. The shot was no good, but Ladycat Kenzie Griggs came flying in to grab the offensive rebound and put it in to make the scored 55 – 52 with 1.5 seconds left, giving the Ladycats the win and championship.

Blair Baugus scored 23 points to lead the Ladycats. She was 7 of 8 from the line and 8 of 14 from the field with 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, a steal, and an assist. Lauren Bryant scored 12, while Griggs added 10 points, including the game winning basket. Bryant had a rebound, a steal, and an assist, and Griggs had 2 boards with an assist. Jac Keaton hit for 4 points with 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists, and Alexis Maghielse had 3 points with a rebound and a steal. Annie Lee also had 3 points. Kylee Brewer had a rebound and a block. The Ladycats were outrebounded 28 – 20 and shot 43% from the field.

The win over Huntland gave the Ladycats the chance to play one more game at home in the Sectional round of the tourney. They matched up with Perry County on Saturday night. The Ladycats had an easy time with the Lady Vikings, forcing ten first quarter turnovers and had 7 Ladycats score. Annie Lee came off the bench to hit for 5 points in the opening quarter. They took a 22 – 10 lead after one quarter and led 39 – 19 by halftime. All the Ladycats got to play as they took the win, 61 – 37.

Lauren Bryant hit for 14 points, 12 coming in the first half of action. She had 3 steals and 2 assists. Blair Baugus scored 11 and had 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 2 assists. Kenzie Griggs also hit for double figures with her second 10 point effort in a row, and Jac Keaton added 9. Griggs had a rebound, a block, 4 steals, and 2 assists. Lee finished with 8 and a board, and Isabel Luedeke scored 4 points. She had 3 rebounds and a block. Alexis Maghielse and Emma Bryant each had 2 points. Maghielse had a rebound, 4 steals, and 3 assists, while Bryant had a block and a steal. Kylee Brewer hit one of two from the line with a rebound and an assist. The Ladycats shot 53% from the field. They forced 30 Perry County turnovers, with 18 Ladycat steals.

The Ladycats will be making their journey on Wednesday to MTSU to participate in the “Blue Cross Championship Tourney.” The team is looking to bring home the “Gold,” after finishing as Runner-up in 2022. They will face Dresden in the second Division I – A game Wednesday, scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. “GOOD LUCK LADYCATS!”—Submitted

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