The West Middle School girls basketball team kept its dream of a Class AA State Title alive on Monday night – and did it comeback style – earning a 38-36 victory over Charlotte Middle School at Harpeth Middle School.
With Monday’s win, West was crowned Class AA Section 2 Champions. The Lady Bobcats now can finish no worse than fourth in the state, guaranteeing them two additional games after earning a state semifinal berth.
West now will take on to take on KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle School on Friday. KIPP won the Class AA Section 4 Championship by defeating Bellevue on Monday at Treadwell Middle School.
Friday night’s game is scheduled to get underway at 7:15 p.m. at Stewarts Creek Middle School, 400 Red Hawk Parkway in Smyrna. Tickets into the game are $8 with an additional $5 parking charge.
If the Lady Bobcats were to win on Friday night, they would be playing in the Class AA State Title Game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Stewarts Creek High School. If West loses on Friday, it will play in the Class AA State Consolation Game also at 1 p.m., on Saturday but at Stewarts Creek Middle School.
After trailing Charlotte 23-15 at halftime on Monday, and 30-24 at the end of the third quarter, the comeback was on for West. Nia Sheffield and Morgan Carr opened the final period with back-to-back 3-pointers, as West evened the score with 4:34 remaining in the contest.
The Lady Bobcats grabbed their first lead of the game later in the quarter, taking a brief 34-33 advantage with 1:20 left on the clock. However, Charlotte found a way to even the score with just over 10 seconds left on the clock.
After West grabbed a 36-35 advantage, Charlotte was fouled heading to the free throw line. Brianna Burgess hit the front end of the two free throws for the Lady Tigers, but missed the second attempt, and the score was tied at 36.
In a span of five seconds, West seized the lead for good. Sheffield grabbed the rebound for the Lady Bobcats and tossed it upcourt to teammate Liv Bowen, who scored the game-winning layup with six seconds left on the clock, putting her team in front 38-36.
Early on against Charlotte, West fell behind, Burgess knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter, as the Lady Tigers grabbed a 13-7 advantage. Lucy Nutt buried a 3 for West in the opening period, while Olivia Swain added a basket and a pair of free throws in order to keep the score close.
Charlotte quickly added to its lead in the second quarter, taking advantage of turnovers, upping its edge to 20-9 with 4:35 remaining in the period. The Lady Bobcats countered and closed out the first half on a 6-3 run, cutting its deficit to 23-15 at halftime.
Swain led West in scoring in the second period, knocking down a pair of field goals and adding a free throw. Carr added a 3-pointer of her own for the Lady Bobcats before the period concluded.
Four players got into the scoring column in the third quarter for West, as it narrowed the score to 30-24 heading into the final period of play. Bowen hit a 3 for the Lady Bobcats, while Carr and Bailey Trussell each added a field goal, before Rachel Ferguson hit a pair of free throws.
Swain put up 11 points for West in the victory, leading her team in scoring. Carr added eight points for the Lady Bobcats, while Nutt, Bowen and Sheffield each finished the night with five points. Trussell and Ferguson rounded out the scoring for West with two points.
Zach Birdsong can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.