Ezell-Harding girls fall in DII-A state semis

Ezell-Harding girls fall in DII-A state semis

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Ezell-Harding girls fall in DII-A state semis

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Ezell-Harding sophomore Britany Miller elevates for a first-quarter layup over Webb's Evey Satterfield during Thursday's Division II-A semifinal.

Ezell-Harding sophomore Britany Miller elevates for a first-quarter layup over Webb’s Evey Satterfield during Thursday’s Division II-A semifinal.

Ezell-Harding senior Marci Sneed races up the floor during Thursday's Division II-A semifinal against Webb School of Knoxville.

Ezell-Harding senior Marci Sneed races up the floor during Thursday’s Division II-A semifinal against Webb School of Knoxville.

Ezell-Harding's Caitlyn Parsons (10) has her shot blocked by Webb's Reagan Munday during the first half of Thursday's Division II-A semifinal at Lipscomb University's Allen Arena.

Ezell-Harding’s Caitlyn Parsons (10) has her shot blocked by Webb’s Reagan Munday during the first half of Thursday’s Division II-A semifinal at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena.

The Ezell-Harding girls basketball team made a late push Thursday morning, but it wasn’t enough to earn the Lady Eagles a chance at a state title.

Webb School of Knoxville used a huge first quarter and a timely performance from Miss Basketball finalist Micah Scheetz to hold off Ezell-Harding 48-39, advancing to Saturday’s DII-A state championship game.

The Lady Spartans were nearly unstoppable early.

After Ezell-Harding (27-5) started the game with a 5-0 run, Webb (22-10) responded with a 22-7 run to take a 22-12 advantage after one quarter.

“We talked all year long about five people being engaged on offense and five people being engaged on defense,” Webb coach Shelley Collier said. “Just having other players stepping up and making plays.”

Webb’s playmaking slowed down after the first quarter, as Ezell-Harding increased its defensive pressure and limited Webb to just a combined 14 points in the second and third quarters.

“We knew that we had to score and we knew that if we played our game and just kept our defense up we’d be able to come back,” Ezell-Harding senior point guard Marci Sneed said.

With the defense picking up, the scoring eventually started to come.

The Lady Spartans led 36-29 entering the fourth quarter, but a 9-4 run brought the Lady Eagles within two.

“That’s how they’ve always played their whole career, especially the seniors,” Ezell-Harding coach Dan Carter said. “They don’t ever quit.”

But just as Ezell-Harding pulled within striking distance, Webb’s Miss Basketball finalist took over.

Scheetz became a ball hawk on defense, coming up with a steal and twice knocking the ball out of bounds on defense while sinking three consecutive layups to send Webb on a 6-0 run and to its third state final appearance in as many years.

They started to come out on us and I saw a lane,” said Scheetz, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “So I started driving.”

Webb will play Northpoint Christian in Saturday’s 1 p.m. championship game at Lipscomb University.

Reach Sam Brown at 615-259-8232 and on Twitter @SamBrownTN.

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