Lady Lions fall short of state tournament bid

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cave City used their superior size advantage and a cold shooting night from the Lady Lions to take a 68-46 win over Manila in first round action of the Region 3A-3 Tournament Thursday night at Manila.

Lady Lions Savannah Jones (42) Katie Donner (5) and Jordan Robertson (25) race Cave City's Jessica Hall for a loose ball in regional tournament action Thursday night at Manila. (Town Crier photos/Trent Fletcher)

The Cavewomen dominated the boards while Manila struggled from both the field and the free throw line throughout the game, ending the Lady Lion's hopes of a state tournament berth.

Cheyenne Childers poured in a game high 29 points, mostly from the paint, to lead three Cavewomen in double figures. Haley Bell scored 15 points while Jessica Hall chipped in 11 more. Cave City shot a blistering 89 percent from the free throw line in advancing to the semifinals while punching their ticket to the state tournament.

Kimberly Wise, who closed her career with a team high 28 points, gave Manila its only lead of the game, 5-4, with 6:13 left in the opening period. But Childers answered with a driving lay-up to put Cave City back on top 6-5. Childers scored again to up the lead to three before Wise drilled one of her five three pointers on the night, tying the game at 8-8.

Lion senior Kimberly Wise (22) drives for two of her 28 points in Thursday night's regional tournament at Manila.

Bell gave the Cavewomen the lead for good after completing a three point play at the 3:21 mark of the opening period. Cave City closed the quarter with a 9-1 run to take a 17-9 lead into the second quarter.

Cave City maintained its advantage throughout the second stanza, and took a 31-21 lead into the dressing room at the half.

The Lady Lions had several opportunities to close the gap, but missed the front end of three one and one situations from the foul line while finishing the half hitting just 6-15 attempts.

Manila's Carla Kemp (31) battles Cavewoman Claire Caldwell for possession of the basketball while Kristen Painter (24) looks on.

Manila rallied in the third quarter and pulled to within 38-31 on another Wise three pointer, but Cave City closed the quarter with a 13-5 run to take a 51-36 lead into the final frame.

Kristen Painter scored seven points while Carla Kemp chipped in six. Courtney Craine tallied four while Jordan Robertson added one. Manila finished the night 11-26 from the free throw line.

"We knew coming in we were going to have to play a pretty flawless game," said Manila coach Jeff Priest. "Cave City has been ranked in the top five in the state all year long. Cheyenne Childers is a great player. I thought our game plan was good, but we just couldn't hit our free throws and we got pounded on the boards. I was most disappointed with giving up all of those offensive rebounds, mostly to the shooter. That was frustrating. But we had a good year. I am very proud of my seniors. The last two years this group has won 39 games and a district championship. That can never be taken away from them. We just ran into a better team tonight."

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