Top-ranked Blackman girls cruise to 7-AAA championship

Top-ranked Blackman girls cruise to 7-AAA championship

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Top-ranked Blackman girls cruise to 7-AAA championship

By

MURFREESBORO

The nation’s top-ranked high school girls basketball team is headed to its first postseason championship of the season.

Blackman scored an 80-56 victory in a District 7-AAA Tournament semifinals Saturday afternoon at Siegel to advance to Monday night’s title game. The Lady Blaze will play Oakland at 7:30 p.m. for the district championship.

Smyrna will play Riverdale in Monday’s consolation final at 6 p.m. All four teams have already secured spots in next week’s Region 4-AAA Tournament.

Blackman, which scored a school-record 86 points in its last win over Smyrna (86-55, Jan. 28), got its semifinal win via big runs.

The Lady Blaze (26-1) opened the first quarter with a 21-8 lead. Smyrna trimmed the lead to seven points (24-17) on a Brooklyn Blanchard steal and bucket, but that was as close as the Lady Bulldogs got.

Smyrna (21-10) had a chance to cut the lead to single digits just before halftime. A Kesha Brady steal in the closing seconds setup one last possession, but an offensive foul on Allie Bolton gave Blackman the ball back. Recent Tennessee commit MeMe Jackson scored just before the buzzer to push the lead to 37-24.

The Lady Blaze then began the third quarter by scoring the first nine points off of two steals and two defensive rebounds, and it led to 24-point scoring burst in the eight minutes. Jackson had six of her 19 points in the third quarter.

Miss Basketball finalist Crystal Dangerfield led all scorers with 23 points for Blackman, including three 3-pointers. Alex Johnson and Micah Norris each added 10 points. The Lady Blaze knocked down eight 3s in the win — two each quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs were led by Treasure Hunt’s 14 points, while Brianne Alexander added 13. Smyrna finished with 30 turnovers.

It will be Blackman’s fifth district championship game in the program’s history, but the team’s only district title came in 2011 when it defeated Riverdale 40-37. The Lady Blaze have lost to Riverdale twice in 7-AAA title games — 68-58 (2013) and 56-54 (2010) — and 55-47 to Cookeville (2004).

Blackman 80, Smyrna 56

S 8 16 17 15 — 56

B 21 16 24 19 — 80

S-Blanchard 9, Moore 9, Brianne Alexander 13, Brady 9, Hughes 2, Treasure Hunt 14.

B-Micah Norris 10, Allen 1, Alex Johnson 10, MeMe Jackson 19, Williams 4, Crystal Dangerfield 23, Bond 7, Greatrex 6.

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