Thursdays final game during the opening rounds of the TSSAA Class 2A high school girls basketball state tournament pitted two of the Volunteer States top teams against each other.
The Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks had the most wins of any team in the tournament, and they were rewarded with the late game of day one – a matchup against the highly touted Lady Trojans of Dyersburg.
On the line was a Friday night matchup against Fulton, who advanced in the tourney due to a convincing 67-49 win against Cannon County.
It will be the Lady Red Hawks (34-3) that will be advancing to that match-up tomorrow night, thanks to a 63-50 win that featured one of Rachel Bells strongest performances yet.
Dyersburg (31-4) took the early lead, with a three pointer from Christina Moore at the 7:22 mark, but Bailee Anthony would answer with a three on the next possession, knotting the game up at 3-3. It would not stay tied for long, as Rachel Bell scored from downtown on Creek Woods next series, giving them a 6-3 lead.
The Vandy signee and Brianna Spicer both were successful on their next shots, helping CW head coach Tom Mullinicks squad take an 11-7 advantage. Dyersburg was not about to be put in the rear view mirror early, however.
Kim Tates jumper pulled the Lady Trojans to within 11-9 with 3:49 left to play in the first. A 13-6 run by the team from Jones Creek enabled the Lady Red Hawks to widen the lead to 24-15 at the end of the first eight minutes.
Shakaila Smith opened up the second with a three for Dyersburg, but Bell was seemingly on a roll. The senior continued to add to her point total in the second, as Creek Wood pushed the lead out to 39-25 with 1:29 left before halftime thanks to Bell and some nice shooting from long range from Leah Grubb. Randy Coffmans squad would end the quarter on a 7-0 run, courtesy of Myah Taylor, Chari Swift, and Smith to go in the locker room down by seven at the half, 39-32.
Points would be at a premium for both teams in the early part of the third quarter with both teams only adding one basket in the first four minutes of the third, but things would change as the quarter went along. Swift and Bell would trade baskets for their respective teams, before a technical called on the Lady Trojans would send Bell to the free throw line, where she was one of two and the lead was once again a nine-point edge, 45-36 with 2:29 remaining in the third.
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Creek Wood girls basketball beats Dyersburg, heads to state semifinals