MYRTLE • Myrtle fought off a frenzied final quarter by TCPS to win their round one playoff game in 1A basketball by a 47-42 final. The Lady Hawks advance to play Jumpertown at home on Wednesday.
Myrtle appeared to have the game in hand early in the final quarter as Lexi Hutcheson's three-pointer gave the Lady Hawks a 35-25 lead. Raykiah Strickland hit a field goal shortly thereafter to increase the advantage to 37-26, but TCPS clawed back.
The final period was an offensive outburst by both teams compared the the previous quarters as TCPS outscored Myrtle 19-17, but Myrtle's cushion from the earlier periods gave them the win.
"We just had a great defensive effort, everybody played hard," Myrtle coach Chris Greer said. "We got shook at the end, but you know what, we won."
Twice inside the two minute mark, the Lady Eagles closed to within a point at 37-36 and again at 39-38, but Myrtle closed out the contest by outscoring TCPS 8-4 to take the win.
"I told them to just relax and quit losing the ball during a timeout," Greer said. "We missed about eight free shots and turned the ball over about five times, but we won."
Strickland owned the first half for the Lady Hawks as she scored 10 points. She got the home crowd to their feet with her last second heroics in the quarter as she stole a TCPS pass and threw up a three just inside the mid-court stripe and banked it in at the buzzer for the 13-8 lead.
Myrtle's Kinsley Gordon had a game high of 21 and Strickland added her 13 points including two 3-pointers to pace the Lady Hawks to the win.
Anna Mae Ramsey hit for 16 for TCPS and Millie Speed scored 9.
Myrtle improves to 16-8 on the season.
Turning Point: Breanna Smith hit a three-pointer from the wing to give Myrtle a four point lead late in the game at 42-38.
Point Maker: Kinsley Gordon hit for 21 points including three 3-pointers to lead all scorers in the game.
Talking Point: "From the opening tip we just didn't have the same intensity that we've had and I had three starters to get two fouls in the first four minutes of the game and we normally only play six players." - TCPS coach Ron Nichols.