February 27, 2008 Edition

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Lady Bobcat Jordan Rorex and her teammates advanced to the finals of their regional tournament with a 47-34 victory over Tuckerman
Submitted Photo ~ Ashley George

Lady Cats are regional runners-up

Debbie Richey
Staff Writer

On Jan. 24, Walnut Ridge senior center Rachel Looney signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Williams Baptist College.

Meanwhile, on that same afternoon, in Monette, Buffalo Island Central star Jessica Shepard was also signing a letter of intent to play for Williams.

The two future teammates crossed paths in the championship game of the 2A North Regional Tournament Saturday night at Cherry Valley. Shepard's BIC Lady Mustangs got the best of Looney's Lady Bobcats 47-33 to claim the title.

The contest was tied 7-7 after the first quarter, but the Lady Mustangs pulled away in the second period for a 27-14 halftime lead. The teams played an even third quarter, as BIC carried a 36-23 lead into the final period.

Looney, despite playing against a double and triple team most of the night, still managed eight points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Chelsea Treadway led Walnut Ridge in scoring, with 10 points. Vanessa Oliver had six points, two steals and two rebounds. Alivia Hackworth had five points. Jordan Rorex recorded two points and three rebounds, and Lacy Cobble added two points.

Shepard led BIC with 22 points.

Semifinals

Walnut Ridge took on the Tuckerman Lady Bulldogs in the semifinals on Friday.

Walnut Ridge jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter en route to taking a 21-5 halftime lead.

The Lady Cats continued their relentless defense in the third quarter and took a 32-15 lead into the final period. The Lady Bulldogs closed the gap to 41-32 late in the game, but could get no closer, as Walnut Ridge posted a 47-34 win.

Looney led Walnut Ridge with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Oliver followed with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. Treadway had nine points and two steals, and Hackworth added three points. Chelsey Linebaugh recorded two assists, and Cobble had three rebounds. p>

WR ~ Tuckerman

The top seed in the girls bracket, Walnut Ridge, received a bye to the semifinal round. The Lady Bobcats saw their first action on Thursday against the Tuckerman Lady Bulldogs.

The Lady Bobcats held a 9-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. The match continued to be tight throughout the first half, as Walnut Ridge took a slim 17-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Vanessa Oliver turned the momentum in Walnut Ridge's favor with two early baskets in the third quarter. The Lady Cats' defense limited Tuckerman to just two points in the period, as Walnut Ridge moved out to a 33-17 lead. The Lady Bobcats' defense continued to smother Tuckerman in the fourth quarter, as Walnut Ridge claimed a 41-26 win to advance to Saturday's finals.

Looney led the Lady Cats with 13 points. Oliver notched nine points, and Hackworth chipped in with eight. Cobble added six points. Treadway closed with four points, and Linebaugh recorded a free throw.

First round

The Lady Bobcats opened the regional tournament by winning a 51-46 overtime nail-biter over the Bay Lady Yellowjackets on Feb. 20.

The Lady Jackets got off to a hot start, holding an 11-4 lead after one quarter. Walnut Ridge gained ground in the second quarter, but still trailed 20-15 at halftime.

The Lady Cats got their offense on track in the second half and cut Bay's lead to 28-26 at the end of the third quarter. Walnut Ridge continued their comeback in the fourth period and regulation play ended with the game tied 40-40. Walnut Ridge's defense proved to be the difference in the overtime period, as the Lady Bobcats outscored Bay 11-6 in the extra period to advance.

Treadway led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points and two steals. Looney had 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Oliver finished with eight points, two steals and two assists. Rorex tallied six points, five steals and five rebounds. Hackworth recorded five points and three steals, and Cobble had two points and two rebounds.

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