The Gilmer High School Lady “Cats” basketball team looked to build on a successful season with a strong showing in the Region 7-AAAA tournament, and the ladies did just that by earning a berth in the State Tournament. GHS faced SE Whitfield in the first round, NW Whitfield in the second, and finished the tournament against Heritage. The Lady “Cats” finished in third place good for a spot in the State Tournament, and a first round trip to Columbus High School.
In the first game against SEW, the Lady “Cats” played strongly and it was Gilmer’s best game of the tournament. With that being said, the Lady “Cats” got off to a very slow start and only scored six points in the opening quarter. Sarah Lambert and Bailey Charles provided the offense for GHS in the quarter and Gilmer trailed 9-6.
Jenna Parks started off a big second quarter for Gilmer with a pull up jumper for two points. Moments later, Parks got open and nailed a three-pointer to give the Lady “Cats” an 11-9 lead.
Charles then scored seven straight points followed by two made free throws by Jade Green and Gilmer led by nine, 20-11. Hannah Jones and Lambert would go on to add three points each giving Gilmer a 26-14 halftime lead.
GHS put the game out of reach in the third quarter. Wonderful play by Green, Jones, Parks, and Charles helped fuel a 16-1 run in which Gilmer’s play was nearly flawless. SEW was able to get on a mini-run at the end, but after Meghan Flowers knocked in two free throws the Lady “Cats” led 46-24.
Hannah Colwell scored the first basket of the final quarter for GHS and was assisted by Britton Farlow. Flowers drilled a deep three-pointer and the remainder of the quarter consisted of free throws for Gilmer, which went on to win 57-36.
Game two for the Lady “Cats” came against the Lady Bruins of NW Whitfield and it proved to be a tougher game than the first. This overtime game was full of questionable calls that led to foul trouble for Gilmer.
The game started out pretty well for Gilmer as the Lady “Cats” led more often than not. Great defensive intensity helped to hinder the offensive potential for the Lady Bruins.
The momentum was clearly on Gilmer’s side as the Lady “Cats” led 10-6, but a power outage delayed the game for nearly 15 minutes. The first quarter ended with Gilmer ahead 10-7, but the ladies would surrender that lead early in the second.
After Northwest rattled off seven straight points to take the lead, 13-10, Charles had a great drive that resulted in an old-fashioned three point play. Farlow hit a clutch three-pointer to get within one point, but foul trouble started forcing Lady “Cat” players out.
Parks, Lambert, and Green all had to sit with fouls, but Gilmer was able to stay close thanks to another three-pointer by Farlow. Despite the issues late in the quarter, Gilmer only trailed 21-19 at the half.
Lambert tied the game early in the third and Farlow’s two free throws gave Gilmer a lead. The game went back and forth in the third, but Gilmer trailed by four with just one quarter to go.
Farlow scored five straight points to begin the fourth quarter and give GHS a one point lead. Whitley Reece and Farlow scored the next four points to give Gilmer a 40-36 lead. These would be the last points of the game for Gilmer.
A big three-pointer by NW tied the game with less than thirty seconds left and the game went into overtime. The Lady Bruins outscored the Lady Cats 13-0 in OT, sending Gilmer to the third-place consolation game against Heritage.
In the third place game against Heritage, the Lady Cats would stay close but ultimately fell to the Lady Generals 56-49. This gives the Lady “Cats” a slot in the state tournament and Gilmer will travel to Columbus, GA to face the Columbus Blue Devils at 6:00 PM on Friday, February 21.