The Lady Buckeyes clinched second place Tuesday in District 16-3A’s basketball chase with a 54-43 come-from-behind win over Spring Hill. Gilmer finished the season 20-10, 8-4, with Bullard the only team they lost to twice in district play.
It was the first time in recent memory that Gilmer defeated the Lady Panthers twice in one season. With the Gilmer victory and a Kilgore loss to Chapel Hill, Spring Hill was thrown into a third-place tie with Kilgore and Chapel Hill. The district playoff representative will be determined with a playoff Saturday.
The Lady Buckeyes will play the Canton Lady Eagles in a bi-district round on Monday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Hawkins. Admission to the game will be $5 for adults and $2 for students.
As has been a pattern much of this year, Gilmer fell behind in the first quarter as the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter. At one point, the Lady Panthers led by 14 points, before Gilmer shots started dropping and the Lady Buckeyes put on an 8-0 run to trail by only six at halftime, 23-17.
Diamond Shaw and Christian Brown with four points each in the second quarter were key to the late surge.
The third quarter found Jasmin Jones warmed up and raring to go as she put on a second-half show, scoring 19 of her game-leading 26 points.
As Gilmer mounted an 11-5 run in the third quarter, the Lady Buckeyes tied the score at 28-28 and keep adding coals to the fire.
Shaw, with one of her four steals, put Gilmer in the lead for good late in the third quarter, 30-28.
In the final minutes, Jameekia Homer dominated the boards at both ends of the court, blocking shots, grabbing rebounds, and getting put-back points off teammates’ missed shots at the Gilmer end of the court.
Homer finished with 12 points, four blocks, and 17 rebounds, 11 of which were defensive. Six of her eight points in the fourth quarter came off rebounds.
Spring Hill tried to force Gilmer into errors, but instead were forced into fouling the Lady Buckeyes. Jones missed the front end of two one-and-one opportunities, as she hit only one of four chances, but Brown connected on four of four free-throw chances as she made Spring Hill pay for their reach-ins.
Brown finished with eight points, seven rebounds, and three steals; Shaw six rebounds, four steals and three assists; and Tivia Johnson two rebounds and two points.
Ashlyn Ray had three rebounds and an assist before fouling out, and Maci Ritter added a block, a steal, and three defensive rebounds.
Ray was also leading scorer for Spring Hill, with 16 points and 10 rebounds.