Lady Blaze top Lady Patriots in matchup of nationally-ranked teams

Lady Blaze top Lady Patriots in matchup of nationally-ranked teams

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Lady Blaze top Lady Patriots in matchup of nationally-ranked teams

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MURFREESBORO

It was about how Blackman started and how Oakland did not finish that kept the Lady Blaze perfect in a meeting of USA Today’s Super 25 teams Friday night.

No. 19 Blackman opened with a 7-0 lead in the first 1:18 and never saw the margin any smaller than that in a 43-32, District 7-AAA victory at Randy King Gymnasium.

No. 24 Oakland had the lead back to seven with less than a minute left, and could have trimmed it even further had it not been for a 5-of-11 effort from the free throw line in the final four minutes.

It was the first four minutes of each quarter where Blackman (8-0, 1-0) did much of its damage.

The Lady Blaze opened with the 7-0 run thanks to a bucket from Jazz Bond on the opening possession, an Alex Johnson block setting up a MeMe Jackson 3-pointer on the following possession and two Crystal Dangerfield free throws on the fourth possession.

“From the jump, we came out of the locker room saying we weren’t going to be given anything so we had to come out with fire and just be hungry,” said Johnson, who finished with a game-high 12 points — seven in the second quarter. “The block and first layup gave us our transition and we knew we could push it, and it gave us some power and energy.”

After winning the first four minutes of the first quarter 7-0, Blackman followed with 6-5 in the second, 3-3 in the third and 5-1 in the fourth for a 24-15 difference over the first half of each quarter.

Oakland (8-2, 1-1) could not generate much on the offensive end, shooting 11-of-43 for the game. The Lady Pats finished 8-of-18 from the stripe. Buckets by center Shelby Johnson and guard Ansley Eubank helped cut the lead to 38-31, but it was bookended by the four misses from the line.

“We’re battling and battling and we’ve got to help ourselves,” Oakland coach Jennifer Grandstaff said. “We miss 10 free throws and lose by 11. You make a couple of free throws and it changes the complexion of the game. It puts a little pressure on them. But it’s early, and I was really pleased with the way our kids fought.”

Gibson led her team with eight points, all on field goals.

Blackman shot 12-of-20 from the line.

Blackman 43, Oakland 32

B – 7 9 7 9 — 32

O – 15 10 7 11 — 43

B-Norris 4, Alex Johnson 12, Jackson 8, Williams 5, Dangerfield 9, Bond 5.

O-A. Eubank 5, Gibson 8, Oliver 7, Howse 6, E. Eubank 6.

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