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Lady Trailblazers grind out quarterfinal win over patient Trojans

Pat Kenney • Updated Feb 28, 2020 at 10:01 PM

GRAY — Survive and advance. That’s the postseason mantra all teams live by this time of year.

On Friday night in a Region 1-AAA girls quarterfinal inside Bobby Snyder Gym, Daniel Boone did just that.

Kayla Gibson’s dramatic 3-pointer with 3:07 remaining gave the Lady Trailblazers (19-11) only their third lead of the game, but it proved to be the game-winner in a 30-27 victory over Morristown West.

“We’ve worked on that situation a lot,” said Gibson, who finished with 11 points. “I’ve been shooting the 3 well lately so when I got the look, I felt good about it.”

Daniel Boone advanced to take on Jefferson County (24-5) on Monday in the regional semifinals at Morristown East. The Lady Patriots dumped David Crockett 67-35 in their quarterfinal matchup Friday.

Trailing 28-27 with less than three minutes to go, the Lady Trojans (14-14) worked the ball around, as they had all game, eating up clock and looking for that one opening in Boone’s oppressive 2-3 zone. With 15 seconds left, West got the ball inside but got called for a traveling violation, giving possession back to Boone.

Gibson then went to the free throw line with 4.1 seconds on the clock and hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to set the final margin of victory.

“We are not normally a good free-throw shooting team,” Gibson noted. “But tonight we hit 11 of 12 and that was the difference.”

Morristown West sank three 3-pointers to start the game and jumped out to an 11-4 lead.

By halftime, Boone had narrowed its deficit to two points, 21-19, and finally took its first lead at 23-21 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter.

The Lady Trojans bring a relentless patience to the court, so the game was destined to be a low-scoring affair. The teams combined for just six points in the third quarter.

“Johnny (Galyon) is a great coach,” said Boone coach Beau Hauldren. “He knows what he wants his players to do and is able to teach them how to do it.

“They hit five 3s in the first half because we just weren’t communicating on defense. Once we got that straightened out, we got things going our way. I knew when we got into our 2-3 zone, it would work to our advantage.”

“Give Boone credit,” Galyon said. “They are so long on defense we just had to work the ball around for a long time to even get a look at the basket.

“But all we asked of the girls was to give us a chance to win and tonight they did just that.”

Jaycie Jenkins scored a game-high 14 points for Boone. Nina Lovelace led West with 10 points.

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