WALNUT • Walnut's Madi Kate Vuncannon put on a shooting clinic against East Union last Thursday night. The freshman guard poured in a career-high 32 points on 83 percent shooting from the field while grabbing 12 rebounds in a 60-38 win over the Lady Urchins in the Div. 1-2A Tournament semifinals.
East Union took control in the first quarter behind seven points apiece from Maggie McVey and Jessie Roberts. McVey scored a basket plus the foul, tagged with Roberts' second 3-pointer of the period with four seconds left to take a 16-10 lead into the second off a 6-0 run. Vuncannon hit three shots on her way to seven of the Lady Wildcats' 10 first quarter points.
Back-to-back baskets from Walnut's Ragan Kennedy started the second quarter and sparked a 12-1 run that pushed the Lady Wildcats ahead 22-17. Walnut locked up the Lady Urchins in the second period, outscoring them 16-4 to take a 26-20 lead into the break.
Vuncannon came away with a steal on the first possession of the third quarter and drove to the other end for an easy layup. Walnut's leading scorer Claire Leak then connected on a 3-pointer to extend their lead out to 11 by the 7:07 mark, setting the tone for the rest of the second half.
Walnut built a 24-point lead by the 4:06 mark of the fourth quarter after a 9-0 run put the game away. Vuncannon scored seven of those nine points, including her third 3-pointer of the contest.
As a team, the Lady Wildcats shot 51 percent from the floor, including a 41 percent clip from beyond the arc. Walnut also dominated the boards, winning the rebounding battle 31-15.
Leak finished with 13 points and six rebounds. East Union had no player in double figures. McVey finished with a team-high nine points.
Walnut turned around to face Class 2A favorite New Site in the 1-2A championship game last Friday. The Lady Wildcats went into halftime tied 22-22 with heavy-favorite Lady Royals. But in the third quarter, New Site outscored Walnut 19-6 to capture a 56-46 win. Vuncannon led the Lady Wildcats with 15 points while Leak added 13 points.
The Lady Wildcats (17-13) then hosted Charleston on Monday night in the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs and came away with a 66-51 win to advance to Friday's second round matchup at Pelahatchie. Leak led Walnut with 29 points and 13 rebounds as Vuncannon added 17 points.