CLINTON, Tenn. | Halls entered the District 4-3A tournament as the undisputed top team in the district, and Friday’s semifinal game against Scott High did little to dispel that notion.
The Red Devils dominated here Friday, claiming a 59-26 win over the Lady Highlanders to advance to the district championship game for a second consecutive season.
The game was never in doubt, as the Lady Highlanders struggled mightily on the offensive end of the floor, while also struggling to keep Halls in check on the opposite end at times.
Scott High opened in a triangle-and-two defense that was intended to take away the Red Devils’ best offensive weapons. But Halls executed its offense to near perfection in the opening stages of the contest, scoring 22 points in the first quarter.
Keira Everett knocked down two early 3-pointers, and Megan Biliter scored eight of her game-high 17 in the opening period, as Halls opened a 22-9 lead after the first eight-minute stanza.
Scott High got first quarter 3-pointers from Julie Lawson and Annalyne Woodward, but didn’t hit a field goal from inside the perimeter until Brittany Morrow scored on a drive to the basket in the second quarter. That turned out to be the Lady Highlanders’ only score of a dismal second period that saw Halls grow its halftime lead to 32-11.
Scott coach Jake Wright quickly switched from the triangle-and-two to the 1-3-1 zone defense that his team has employed effectively during the second half of the season, and that kept Halls’ offense in check the rest of the game. In fact, the Red Devils only had four made field goals in the second quarter after nine in the first, and had only three in the third quarter.
But Scott High just couldn’t find a rhythm offensively. After shooting 48% the last time they played Halls, at Highlander Gymnasium, the Lady Highlanders connected on just 29% of their shot attempts in Friday’s game. And Scott High was just five of 19 from the free throw line — including an almost unheard of two of 15 in the second half.
In fact, the second half saw the Lady Highlanders make six field goals to Halls’ eight, as the two teams played nearly evenly. The difference, however, was that Halls hit 10 of 11 free throw attempts in the second half, while Scott was just two of 15. As a result, the Red Devils built as much as a 35-point lead.
Scott High struggled in every phase of the game. No one had more than three rebounds, and Scott was unable to turn Halls over consistently, recording just two steals.
Adding injury to insult, two seniors — Zoey Terry and Annalyne Woodward — suffered ankle injuries during the game. Wright said afterwards that he was concerned about Woodward’s status for Monday’s third-place game against Anderson County.
SCOTT (26): Morrow 9, Young 3, Lawson 3, Hooks 3, Woodward 3, Terry 2, Hutson 2, Garrett 1.
HALLS (59): Biliter 17, E. Tharpe 10, Everett 8, Corvette 7, Roberts 6, S. Tharpe 5, Welch 4, Holbert 2.