LEXINGTON – By means of two state event games, the Male Excessive Faculty women basketball workforce seemed as if it’d have the ability to overcome the loss of its prime scorer and rebounder and make a run to the Candy sixteen championship recreation.
But on Saturday, fatigue lastly caught up with the Bulldogs.
Male shot simply 31.8 % and was outscored 21-10 in the fourth quarter of a fifty two-42 loss to Southwestern in a Candy 16 semifinal in entrance of four,535 fans at Rupp Area.
Male’s Joelle Johnson, proper, appears for a gap on Southwestern’s Kallie Sheron in their semifinal recreation on the KHSAA Woman’s Candy 16, Saturday, March 16.
(Photograph: James Crisp; Special to the CJ)
Senior Cameron Browning, a Belmont College signee averaging 15.3 factors and 10.2 rebounds per recreation, was recognized Tuesday with mononucleosis and missed the complete event. The Bulldogs overcame her loss with victories over Boyd County on Thursday and Barren County on Friday but couldn’t make it three in a row.
Three starters – Joelle Johnson, Kynidi Striverson and Alana Striverson – played all 32 minutes Saturday. Freshmen Makya Grinter and Alexis Carr have been the one reserves used and mixed for a complete of 14 minutes.
RELATED COVERAGE: Ryle tops Owensboro Catholic in Sweet 16 semifinal
“We were going through it, even at the hotel,” Johnson said of the fatigue. “We were telling ourselves, ‘We have to play through it.’ We just fell short.”
Kynidi Striverson led Male (24-8) with 16 points, and Johnson added 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
“The state tournament is a hard four-game ordeal, and you’re playing back to back to back,” Male coach Champ Ligon Jr. said. “I think fatigue played a part today with our shooting.”
Kallie Sheron had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead Southwestern (27-5), the school from Somerset that qualified for its first state final.
The Warriors (27-5) will face Ryle (32-5) at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“We’ve been saying, ‘One more, one more, one more,’ and now it’s down to just one more,” Southwestern coach Stephen Butcher said. “Do we have it in us? I don’t know. I’ll take my chances.”
Male shot just 25 percent (6 of 24) in the first half and trailed 24-18 at the break. Southwestern’s 2-3 zone frustrated the Bulldogs for much of the half.
Butcher called the zone “our best defense” and said it was necessary against a Male team that was “the biggest and toughest we’ve played all year.”
“Our eyes kind of light up when teams play man-to-man on us,” Ligon said. “When they pack it back and the outside shots aren’t falling, it makes it really tough. That’s a credit to Southwestern and the job they did. But we got good looks. … It really doesn’t matter what they play. We just didn’t finish tonight.”
Male rallied in the third quarter and took its only lead of the game, 32-31, on Alana Striverson’s two free throws with 50.8 seconds left in the period.
But the Warriors took control in the fourth quarter,…