During a night of exciting high school basketball games there was none bigger than the one in Williamsburg where the Lady Yellow Jackets knocked off Middlesboro 41-39 to advance to the 13th Region’s All “A” semifinals.
The will play Harlan, a 51-31 winner of Oneida Baptist, Thursday at 6 p.m. at Oneida Baptist, the site of the semifinals and finals.
Middlesboro was considered to be the tournament favorite to represent the 13th Region girls in the All “A” State Tournament the first week of February.
In the early going it looked as if Middlesboro might have their way with the Lady Jackets. Middlesboro ran out to an 8-2 lead behind back to back three pointers by Emily Osborne.
But, a Coach Jim Rains time-out worked as Williamsburg settled down and got back in the game. Senior Jennifer Shelley scored then hit a three pointer to close the gap to one, 8-7. A three point goal by Katlin Faulkner sent the Lady Jackets ahead 10-8.
However, Middlesboro scored the final four points and led at the end of one, 12-10.
Middlesboro’s Brooklyn Jamison scored the first four points of the second period for a 16-10 lead and again Williamsburg was forced to come from behind. They pulled within one on a pair of free throws by junior Julia Apple.
Middlesboro (7-7) expanded their lead to five (21-16) before Shelley hit two free throws to close out the half.
Things continued to look bleak for the Lady Jackets when Mary Flannary pushed Middlesboro ahead, 26-20.
But, Savannah Ruth ignited a comeback with back to back baskets including a three pointer that pulled Williamsburg within one, 28-27.
However, Middlesboro scored the final seven points of the quarter for a 35-27 lead at the end of three.
A determined Williamsburg team outscored Middlesboro, 8-0 to start the final quarter and Shelley tied the game at 35-35 with 4:23 left.
The breaking point came when Faulkner hit a three pointer to put Williamsburg ahead, 41-38.
Shelley and Faulkner had a chance to put the game away in the final seconds but missed the front end of bonus situations. However, Middlesboro missed three of four free throws in the final nine seconds as well.
Shelley led the Lady Jackets with 13 points while Faulkner added 12 points in the win.
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