By ZACH BIRDSONG
For a few brief seconds, Tullahoma enjoyed a tie game after evening the score at 2 in the first minute of play at Riverdale in the Region 4-AAA Tournament on Friday night.
However, Riverdale quickly dashed any dream Tullahoma had of an upset, closing out the first quarter on a 29-6 run on its way to routing the Lady Wildcats, 83-38.
Tullahoma (15-17, 6-9) saw its season end with the loss, while Riverdale advanced to the Region 4-AAA Tournament Championship Game after defeating Oakland 64-36 on Monday night. The Lady Warriors will face Blackman at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Oakland High School.
On Friday night, Julia Duncan scored with 7:13 left in the opening quarter, as the Tullahoma guard evened the score at 2. From that point, the Lady Warriors controlled the remainder of the quarter, forcing the Lady Wildcats into nine turnovers in the period.
Those miscues led to easy baskets at the other end of the floor for Riverdale, as it scored 29 of the final 37 points of the opening quarter. Duncan added four more points in the quarter for Tullahoma, while Macey Bowman added another basket, as the Lady Wildcats trailed 31-8 after one quarter of play.
Riverdale picked up right where it left off early in the second quarter, forcing six turnovers and opening the period on a 13-3 run, taking a 44-11 lead. The Lady Warriors then added 12 of the final 20 points of the first half, taking a 56-19 halftime advantage.
Robin Smedley and Jessica Edde scored all 11 of Tullahoma’s points in the second quarter. Smedley put up a 3 and added a pair of baskets, finishing the quarter with seven points. Edde added a pair of baskets for the Lady Wildcats.
Tullahoma put up its best offensive quarter of the night in the third, scoring 16 points in the period. However, Riverdale was able to grow its lead after putting up 18 points in the same period, taking a 74-35 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Duncan led the Lady Wildcats in scoring in the third quarter, putting up six points. CeCe Smith knocked down a 3-pointer and added a free throw for Tullahoma. McKenna Buckner hit a 3 of her own, while Erin Fitzgerald put up two points and Makenna Snipes added a free throw.
With a running clock going for the entire fourth quarter, the Lady Wildcats were limited to just three points in the final period of play, while Riverdale scored nine points, notching the 83-38 victory. Duncan made the lone field goal for Tullahoma, while Snipes added a free throw.
Duncan led Tullahoma in scoring on the night, putting up 14 points in the contest. Smedley added seven points, while Smith totaled five points for the Lady Wildcats and Edde added four. Buckner put up three points, while Snipes, Fitzgerald and Bowman each had two points.