Block girls fall in quarterfinals

Published 12:28 am Friday, February 26, 2010

JONESVILLE — Thursday night’s quarterfinal game between Block and Southern Lab was a rematch of last year’s Class 1A semifinal game that was won by the Lady Bears on their way to eventually capturing the state championship.

And while both Block and Southern Lab lost a lot of key players from last year’s squads, the Lady Kittens were seeking to avenge that loss with a berth in the Ladies’ Top 28 Tournament on the line.

Southern Lab jumped out an early double-digit lead and held off a late rally by Block to defeat the Lady Bears in a low-scoring battle 37-34 to end their defense of the 1A state title.

“We were down 14 in the first quarter. We had problems with their press. We turned the ball over a lot,” Block head coach Kristy King said. “The big difference was they had the momentum in the first quarter.”

Block went into a man-to-man defense in the second quarter and cut the Lady Kittens’ lead to nine points at halftime. The Lady Bears continued to chip away at the lead in the third quarter and tied it up in the fourth quarter.

But Southern Lab, the No. 5 seed, made some key shots down the stretch and held on for the three-point win — and a spot in the Top 28 Tournament at the University Center in Hammond, La., which starts next Monday.

“We used too much energy trying to come back. If we hadn’t been down 14, who knows what would’ve happened,” King said. “Those young kids, I was glad to have three young kids start. Losing 24 (senior Tyra Jefferson) will be tough. We’re losing 20 points a game. No. 42, our junior, Desiree Savage, had a good game.”

Block, which entered the playoffs as the No. 20 seed, finished its season with a 16-15 overall record.