SMYRNA At times it was far from pretty.
However, Blackman girls basketball coach Chad Hibdon will take ugly.
Fourth-ranked Blackman defeated eighth-ranked Oakland 38-33 Saturday evening at Harry Gill Gymnasium to clinch a berth in Monday’s District 7-AAA tournament championship game.
“I think both teams have tough competitors,” Hibdon said. “You have two good defensive teams. That causes the offense sometimes to not get in the flow.
“For us, offensively, we had some opportunities. But we rushed some things. We get excited in big games and rush things.”
Blackman (24-2) plays top-ranked Riverdale (26-0) at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 7-AAA championship. Both teams are guaranteed a home Region 4-AAA quarterfinal game on Friday.
Oakland (21-5) plays Smyrna (9-20) at 6 p.m. in the consolation game. All of Oakland’s losses have come from the two teams in the District 7-AAA championship game. Three of Oakland’s losses have come to Blackman. Riverdale defeated the Lady Patriots twice.
Freshman Crystal Dangerfield led Blackman with 12 points. Senior Amanda Pollock added eight points. And junior Micah Norris had six.
“I think we just rushed our shots,” Pollock said of the woeful shooting night. “We were just too excited, and too ready to score.”
Freshman Shelby Gibson led Oakland with 12 points. Samford signee Ellen Riggins added 10.
Gibson and Riggins also did a good job slowing down Blackman post players Alex Johnson and Jazz Bond. The two combined for six points.
But Pollock and reserve Morgan Miller hit key 3-pointers for the Lady Blaze in the fourth quarter to help break the game open.
Miller hit a 3-pointer for her only points of the game to give Blackman a 30-23 lead with 6:15 left. Later, Pollock’s trey made it 33-27 with 4:14 left. But Oakland responded with four straight to trim the deficit to 33-31 with 1:51 left.
Pollock stopped the rally with a layup. And Oakland didn’t score again until Gibson’s rebound bucket at the end.
“If I’m open, I’m supposed to shoot it,” Pollock said. “That’s my job. I get in my stance and shoot.”
Blackman 38, Oakland 33
Oakland 9 6 8 10 — 33
Blackman 12 3 10 13 — 38
Oakland: Eubank 5, Riggins 10, Oliver 6, Gibson 12
Blackman: Norris 6, Pollock 8, Allen 2, Killings 1, Dangerfield 12, Johnson 3, Bond 3, M. Miller 3.