Lady Dawgs never panic in semis
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The Lady Dawgs stayed within striking distance until halftime and then took over in the second half on the way to a 35-30 victory over the host McKenzie Lady Rebels (17-10).
The win advanced Gleason into the semifinals and ended McKenzie's season.
Junior Kim Edenfield scored Gleason's first five points, but was saddled with her third foul four-and-a-half minutes into the game. With Edenfield relegated to the sideline, the Gleason offense struggled. The physical Lady Rebel defense also did a good job of denying passes into Gleason's inside weapons — Jenna Frazier and Taylor Stout.
Two Zana Carter free throws gave McKenzie an 11-5 lead with under a minute left in the first quarter. Gleason's Sara Hensley drilled a baseline jumper and Ashley Coble hit two from the free-throw line to slice the MHS lead to 11-9 after a frame.
Three times in the second quarter, the Lady Rebel lead hit a half dozen. Each time Gleason found an answering field goal from either Frazier or Coble while the GHS defense kept McKenzie in check.
At halftime, the McKenzie girls enjoyed a 21-17 edge.
Edenfield refused to be a non-factor after the break. She scored the first six Lady Bulldog points in the third. Her 8-footer knotted the score at 23-all mid way through the quarter.
Carter put MHS back in front with a fall-away jumper, but Gleason got the ball in to Stout for an old-fashioned 3-point play and the first Lady Dawg lead of the night.
Gleason still held that 26-25 lead when the third ended.
In the fourth, the Lady Dawgs maintained their lead. The GHS advantage peaked at six, 34-28, when Edenfield fed Hensley for a layup with two minutes left.
Gleason controlled the ball and the clock the rest of the way en route to the 35-30 victory.
Edenfield's 14 led all scorers. Carter's 10 topped McKenzie.
Region 7-A Tournament
Feb. 26 at McKenzie
Gleason (35) — Kim Edenfield 14, Taylor Stout 7, Ashley Coble 6, Jenna Frazier 4, Sara Hensley 4.
McKenzie (30) — Zana Carter 10, Crystal Doub 9, Alex Gray 7, Amber Nunnery 2, Kelsey Carr 2.
3-pointers: Gleason — Edenfield; McKenzie — none.
Records: Gleason 22-8, McKenzie 17-10.