Lady Chargers hold off McKenzie in clash of state champs
By JIM STEELE
Defending 2A girls’ state basketball champion Martin-Westview held off a second-half charge by defending Class A girls’ champ McKenzie Thursday night and defeated the host Lady Rebels 55-48.
This was a girls-only contest because McKenzie’s football team was playing in the Class A state football championship in Chattanooga Friday afternoon.
While the Lady Rebels rallied from a slow first half to press the Lady Chargers, McKenzie’s reigning Miss Basketball, junior Savannah Davis, suffered a hand injury in the first half and did not see much action after the first quarter. Davis finished with five points.
McKenzie’s Kylie Reynolds drilled a triple to tie the game at 6 in the early going when the Lady Chargers rolled to an 8-0 surge, led by Jada Harrison, Kylie Alexander and McCall Sims. The Lady Chargers led 17-10 as the first quarter ended.
In the second frame, McKenzie shooting became frosty as the Lady Rebels missed seven straight threes. But Sophie Pate and Katie Chesser remedied that issue as three bombs from them cut the lead to nine, 24-13. Allie Trevathan buried a three late to send the Lady Chargers in front 27-13 at the half.
Jillian Brigance lifted the Lady Chargers to a 29-13 lead to start the third, but the Lady Rebels made their run. Briley Auvenshine scored in transition, Mikaela Reynolds landed a three and Kylie Reynolds converted a three-point play to carve the lead to five, 29-24. With 1:31 to play in the third, Mikaela Reynolds bagged a three and McKenzie had whittled the lead to four, 33-29.
With :15 remaining in the third, Hannah Dillingham tripled and McKenzie trailed by a scant three, 35-32. McKenzie could get no closer than that. Kylie Reynolds connected to cut the lead to three, 43-40, with 5:11 to play, but Westview kept McKenzie at arm’s length the rest of the way.
The Lady Rebels were 32 percent from the floor, 12-37, and 7-27 from the perimeter. McKenzie was perfect in 11 attempts at the free throw line. Westview was 19-46 from the floor and 6-19 from the three-point line. The Lady Chargers were just 1-7 from the arch in the second half. McKenzie outrebounded Westview 27-23.
Sims led the Lady Chargers with 16, Harrison scored 14, Alexander added 11.
Kylie Reynolds led McKenzie with 15, Mikaela Reynolds added eight.
The Lady Chargers stood at 4-0 after defeating Jackson Central-Merry 78-40 Friday night.