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Lady Pointers hold off Belpre to reach district finals

WAVERLY - The South Point Lady Pointers have got to stop being so considerate of their opponents.

South Point missed 21 foul shots and committed 26 turnovers, but still managed to hang on to beat the Belpre Lady Golden Eagles 53-49 Thursday in the first round of the Division III district tournament.

In fact, the Lady Pointers were 3 of 13 from the line and had 16 turnovers in the first half yet led by four points.

"We told them at the half that we were keeping them in the game," Pointers coach Dave Adams said. "We played good defense, we just did not do the job at the (foul) line,

and early we weren't patient on offense.

"If we make our foul shots and don't turn the ball over, we win this one going away."

The Lady Pointers opened up a 42-29 led with 4:45 to play only to watch Belpre claw its way back into the game.

With leading scorer Alisha Bridges fouling out with 2:26 to play and the Lady Pointers struggling at the foul line, Rachel Canada converted four foul shots for Belpre and cut the deficit to 49-46.

Jessica Craft made the first of two foul shots as the South Point lead went to 50-46, but Whitney Blackburn drained a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left to get Belpre within one point at 50-49.

Belpre was able to get off only one field goal attempt before time expired.

Craft was fouled again with 14 seconds to play and made the first of two shots for a 51-49 lead. Belpre got the rebound on the second shot but dropped the ball and Craft picked up the loose ball and scored with nine seconds to go for a 53-49 lead.

Craft finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Bridges and Sarah Lee scored 10 points each. Latisha Koukos had 8 rebounds and Whitney Woody pulled down 7 rebounds.

Shawntae Cline scored 15 points and Blackburn 13 to lead Belpre 14-9).

The lead changed hands three times in the first quarter before Bridges, Elisha Joyce and Lee all scored to give South Point an 11-6 lead.

The Lady Pointers went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter to lead 18-11, but Cline made two foul shots and Aubree Milller added a foul shot and it was 18-14 at the break.

South Point turned its 4-point halftime lead into a 32-23 lead in the third quarter with 3:32 on the clock as Whitney Woody hit a foul shot and sank a 19-footer.

Two foul shots by Craft to close out the quarter put the South Point lead at 34-24.

"We had a pretty good run in the third quarter," Adams said.

That set the stage for the thrilling finish.

Next up for the Lady Pointers, now 20-2, is unbeaten and defending state runner-up Oak Hill, ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll. South Point and Oak Hill play at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, for the district championship.

"I never would have expected it at the beginning of the season to be 20-2, but getting the next win won't be easy. Oak Hill is awful good," Adams said.

Oak Hill (22-0) rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Lynchburg Clay 53-46 in Thursday's first game.

Belpre681025=49

South Point1171619=53

BELPRE (14-9):

Whitney Blackburn 5-17

(2-9) 1-2 13, Shawntae Cline 5-12 (0-2) 5-7 15, Shawna Mincks 0-4 (0-1) 0-0 0, Madison Stevens 0-6 (0-3) 0-0 0, Tabitha VanDyke 4-8 (0-0) 0-0 8, Aubree Miller 0-1 (0-0) 1-2 1, Miranda Baker 0-2 (0-0) 1-2 1, Tessa Duckworth 2-2 (0-0) 0-0 4, Rachel Canada 1-2 (1-1) 4-4 7. Totals:

17-54

(3-16)

12-17

49. Fouls: 23. Fouled out: Mincks (4th 0:58). Rebounds: 9-24=33 (Cline 8, Stevens 8, Blackburn 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 3. Assists: 8 (Mincks 3, Blackburn 3). Steals: 7 (Stevens 2, Blackburn 2). Turnovers: 20.

SOUTH POINT (20-2):

Alisha Bridges 4-8 (1-1) 1-4 10, Jessica Craft 2-7 (1-2) 8-16 13, Sarah Lee 5-13 (0-0) 0-0 10, Latisha Koukos 2-3 (0-0) 1-7 5, Summer Malone 1-5 (0-0) 1-4 3, Whitney Woody 2-7 (0-0) 3-4 7, Elisha Joyce 2-2 (0-0) 1-2 5. Totals: 18-57

(2-3)

15-36

53. Fouls: 19. Fouled out: Bridges (4th 2:26). Rebounds: 16-23=39 (Koukos 8, Woody 7, Craft 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 8 (Bridges 3, Craft 3). Steals: 9 (Bridges 3, Craft 3, Koukos 2). Turnovers: 26.