When Logan-Rogersville hosted West Plains in mid-December, the circumstances were unusual. The Lady Wildcats lost 48-39, but it was an encouraging scoreline against the second-ranked team in Class 4.
“It was just a weird situation,” L-R head coach Matt Bolger said of the aforementioned meeting. “Both of us didn’t have school. We played in the back gym because of the boys’ [game]. The lighting was a little weird. We hit our first few shots. And I told them after that game, ‘Girls, you didn’t win, but you put a scare in them, and they’re going to remember that come March.’ Looking back, we did [put a scare in them], and that might have been a bad thing.”
The Lady Zizzers breezed past Rogersville, 58-28, in last Friday's Class 4 district championship held in Marshfield.
Bolger estimated that it may have been West Plains taking out “several years worth of frustration” on his team, considering the Lady Cats have come out on top in recent playoff meetings. “The girls here have gotten the best of them a couple years in a row, so I think a lot of their seniors were ready to win it and they played like it tonight,” he said.
Bre Harlan stroked two 3s and Ashton Judd scored eight of her game-high 15 points in the first quarter, after which West Plains (27-1) led 20-7. L-R made it compelling as the better team in the early portion of the second quarter, but still trailed 30-15 at half. It became a runaway late in the third quarter.
“I said [at half], ‘Hey, look, we play like that and we’ll be right in there,’ but [overall] we did things tonight that we haven’t done since November and December,” Bolger said. “Granted, a lot of that was them doing things to us based on defense and things, but I think we acted like the moment was bigger and it got the best of us. We missed shots we’ve been hitting and made turnovers that we haven’t in such a long time. It stinks to go out like that.”
Seniors Shayley Dunavant and Shelby Ince combined for 15 points in the loss. They’re part of a four-senior class that also includes Sophia Nixon and Jessy Bond.
“They’re a tremendous group who’ve had a ton of athletic success in all sports throughout their careers,” Bolger said. “They led us in every possible category, led us emotionally, spiritually. There’s no replacing them. It’s a group that we’re going to miss immensely.”
The Lady Wildcats finish the year .500 with a record of 14-14.