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Warrior girls just short

The 2004 AISA Class A state champion Warrior Lady Braves came up one basket short of a return trip to the Final Four Tuesday, falling 36-34 to the Lakeside Lady Chiefs at the Class regional tournament at Montgomery’s Huntingdon College.

It looked for one brief moment like the Lady Braves had come up with that basket. After trailing by as many as 10 points late in the third quarter, Warrior had fought back to come within two on a Keshara Moore basket with 35 seconds to play in the game.

The Warrior defense then forced their second five-second call of the period against the Lady Chiefs, giving them the chance to tie with just under 20 seconds. Leading scorer Moore dribbled down the right baseline and freed herself under the basket, but her shot just glanced off the side of the rim. Lakeside won a mad scramble for the rebound and was able to run out the clock.

“We got the shot we wanted,” said Warrior head coach Robert Jarvis. “We had our best shooter shooting it. We just couldn’t get it in.”

Despite the loss, Jarvis was more than happy with his team’s success this season.

“I’m real proud of them,” he said. “Our defense was good all year. We never let teams get too far away from us. Even today, we were able to get some turnovers and get back into the game.”

The first half was played as evenly as it could be, with the teams tying each other 12-12 at the end of the first quarter and 20-20 at the end of the first half.

Moore finished the first half with 12 points, but increased pressure from Lakeside on the Warrior point guard and a series of missed opportunities from the Lady Braves allowed the Lady Chiefs to pull ahead in the third period. Kenya Andrews’ bucket with 3:20 left in the quarter was Warrior’s only second-half scoring until Andrews connected again with under a minute left in the third period.

By that time the Lakeside lead had grown to 32-22, but Warrior wasn’t finished. A Michelle Yeager three-pointer brought the Lady Braves within 32-28 with 5:49 to play, and after a Lakeside spurt a Moore triple three minutes later cut the lead to four again, 36-32.

At that point the Lady Chiefs attempted to stall out the game, with mixed results. Yeager forced one five-second violation, but Warrior was unable to capitalize. A second Lakeside stall resulted in a loose ball that Moore scooped up and converted for the game’s final points. Lakeside was then whistled for their second five-second call, but Moore’s effort was no good and the Lady Chiefs escaped.

Moore finished with 17 points to lead Warrior. She was followed by Andrews with 6, Tricia Langham with 4, Ashley Clements with 4, and Yeager with 3.