Lyon, a Middle Tennessee State signee, stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, 15 rebounds, six steals and two blocks in Science Hill’s 64-36 victory against Daniel Boone in a District 1-AAA semifinal Saturday at Viking Hall.
Science Hill (29-0) will play Dobyns-Bennett (20-8) in the championship on Monday at 7:30 p.m. Boone (19-12) will take on Volunteer (25-9) in the consolation game at 6 p.m.
Daniel Boone gave the Lady Hilltoppers plenty of resistance for the majority of the game during the regular-season meeting in Gray. The Lady Trailblazers were still within single digits early in the fourth quarter before losing, 59-43.
Science Hill responded by opening Saturday’s game on a 39-8 run.
“When we played at Boone we didn’t come out ready to play or anything,” Lyon said. “So we just wanted to prove tonight that that’s not how we really play. That’s just that we had a bad game.”
Lyon began the game’s scoring with a transition put-back, one of three offensive rebounds she parlayed into points. Her productive outing included powering through a double-team just beyond the right block for a bank shot that led to a three-point play and a couple of short turnaround bank shots, including one opportunity she created with two dribbles.
“That’s one of her better games,” Science Hill coach Keith Turner said. “She’s had a great season, but I thought tonight there was two or three times where her post moves were great. …
“That’s one of the best halves we’ve played. We didn’t play very well at Boone. We’ve watched that film a lot the last few days. … We had 10 or 11 unforced turnovers at Boone.”
Senior point guard Tianna Tarter had 14 points, five steals and four assists for the Lady ‘Toppers. Junior wing Keisha Gregory scored 13 points and senior forward Baylee Head (nine points) made half of the Lady Hilltoppers’ six treys.
It was a credit to coach Travis Mains’ Lady Trailblazers that they got Science Hill’s best shot.
“They’re a really good team,” Lyon said. “They have really good plays and have a really good coach. We just wanted to focus on not only getting the ball inside, but getting the ball outside. Their coach is really smart and he knows to double-team on our post players. So we had to get the other girls to shoot the ball – not just Tianna and Keisha, but other girls that are out there.”
Grace Herrin made a 3-pointer and Head added two treys in a 2:45 span of the second quarter. It was part of a 21-4 run which made the outcome a foregone conclusion for 2 1/2 quarters.
“They’re really good when they’re shooting the ball that well,” Mains said. “And Gabby was much more active. Every time she got it it was two points.”
Autumn Bradshaw led Boone with 13 points. Taylor Carmichel added 10.
Athletic point guard Sasha Morrissette poured in 32 points and post Alex Anderson added 20 as the Lady Indians bounced back after getting swept by Volunteer in the regular season. D-B defended hard and rebounded with purpose.
“I think the whole difference is our mental focus,” D-B coach Roger France said. “Volunteer’s got a really good basketball team.”
Lindsey Overbey led Volunteer with 21 points. Emily Armstrong added 10.
Now, D-B will try to rebound from a sweep suffered against Science Hill in the championship on Monday.
“You’re talking about a different animal when you’re talking about Science Hill,” France said. “I watched the first half tonight (against Daniel Boone). They were clicking on all cylinders. They’re focus is right, because they’ve been to the state tournament. This is the last chance for, maybe, a big run that they’ve got. … It’ll be a huge challenge for us to go out there Monday night.”
Injuries have plagued D-B – it was without Anderson and Jocelyn Grigsby in a loss at Volunteer – but France sees a team peaking at the right point in the season.
“We were kind of in disarray (with attrition),” France said. “And I said, ‘Good things will happen to us. We’ve just got to hang together.’ And they have.”