Lady Pioneers runner-up in Coca-Cola Invitational
By Lori Cathey
The Gibson County Lady Pioneers finished runners-up in the Huntingdon Point Guard/Coca-Cola Invitational Christmas Basketball Tournament held December 28-30.
The Lady Pioneers faced Loretto Thursday afternoon in the opening round of the Huntingdon Tournament at Huntingdon High School. The Lady Pioneers outscored Loretto 16-4 in the first quarter. Gibson County‘s Macey Neal made two three-pointers; Kaci Sweatt added a basket. The Lady Pioneers went eight for eight from the free throw line with McKinley Burkett, Hannah Ball, and Ashton Lannom making free throws.
In the second quarter KJ White scored seven points with a three-pointer and Ball added eight points with two three-point plays. Gibson County took a 34-19 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
The two teams swapped baskets back and forth in the third quarter with Catherine Watts hitting a three-pointer for the Lady Pioneers. Gibson County had a 44-28 lead over Loretto to end the third quarter.
The Lady Pioneers scored 15 points in the fourth quarter with Alaina Hunt and Neal both hitting three-pointers. Gibson County won 59-49. The Lady Pioneers had three players in double figures.
Hannah Ball led the Lady Pioneers with 14 points; Macey Neal finished with 12 points; and KJ White added 11 points. Catherine Watts, Alaina Hunt and Kaci Sweatt each scored five points; McKinley Burkett, four points; and Ashton Lannom, three points. Mimi McBee led Loretto with 15 points and Abby Prince had 14 points.
Friday afternoon in the semi-final game, the Lady Pioneers defeated Camden 61-33. The Lady Pioneers came out in the first quarter struggling to land shots. Hannah Ball made one of two free throws, and Macey Neal hit a three-pointer from the left wing to give Gibson County a 4-2 lead. Over the next four minutes, neither team was able to score. With a minute to play in the quarter, Lady Pioneer Ashton Lannom made two free throws; she was fouled driving to the basket. Catherine Watts followed making two free throws off being fouled on an offensive rebound to give Gibson County an 8-5 lead to end the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Lady Pioneers started a 10-0 run off a steal by Ball with a great pass to KJ White for a lay-up. KJ White followed with a three-pointer; Lannom made a free throw; Kaci Sweatt scored a basket off offense rebound and lay-up and McKinley Burkett added two free throws to give Gibson County a 26-13 lead at halftime.
The Lady Pioneers outscored Camden 19-10 in the third quarter. Lannom connected with three three-pointers. KJ White made four baskets and Ball had an offensive rebound for a basket to take a 45-23 lead over Camden.
In the fourth quarter Jaci White hit a three-pointer with Annie Bass, Emma Siler, Ball, Neal and Sweatt all scoring baskets in the quarter. The Lady Pioneers won 61-33 over Camden.
Leading the Lady Pioneers was Ashton Lannom with 14 points; KJ White, 13 points; Kaci Sweatt, eight points; Hannah Ball, five points; Jaci White, five points; McKinley Burkett, four points; Macey Neal, four points; Catherine Watts, two points; Annie Bass, two points; Alaina Hunt, two points; and Emma Siler, two points. Camden’s leading score was Paige Hunt with nine points.
Saturday night the Lady Pioneers opened up the championship game against Huntingdon Lady Mustangs very slowly. The Lady Pioneers only scored six points in the quarter with McKinley Burkett, Ashton Lannom and Macey Neal each making a basket resulting in a Huntingdon 9-6 lead.
The second quarter was controlled by the Lady Mustangs’ offense, outscoring the Lady Pioneers 16-11. KJ White, Alaina Hunt and Neal each hit a three-pointer in the quarter. Huntingdon had a 25-17 lead as the Lady Pioneers retired to the locker room at halftime.
The Lady Pioneers had no luck in the third quarter; cold shooting allowed the Lady Mustangs to take a 43-25 lead to end the third quarter. Catherine Watts made a three-pointer; White and Neal both made a basket with Burkett making a free throw during the quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Lady Pioneers and the Lady Mustangs swapped baskets back and forth. Scoring in the quarter for the Lady Pioneers were Hunt and Neal both with a three-pointer; Hannah Ball made a three point play and a basket, and Lannom made two free throws. Huntingdon defeated the Lady Pioneers 59-40 for the championship title.
Macey Neal was Gibson County’s leading scorer with 10 points; Alaina Hunt added eight points; KJ White finished with seven points; and Hannah Ball had five points; Ashton Lannom, four points; Catherine Watts and McKinley Burkett both added three points. Leading scorer for Huntingdon were Taylor Smith with 21 points and Adyn Swenson with 12 points.