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Lady Trailblazers, Falcons march on to next round

February 13th, 2007 7:03 pm by Dave Ongie

BRISTOL, Tenn. - The last time Daniel Boone's girls participated in a District 1-AAA tournament play-in game, Ronald Reagan was in office and Huey Lewis and the News had a No. 1 single.

While everyone around the Boone basketball program is a little fuzzy on the exact year - 1987 is the best guess - the outcome Monday night was crystal clear by halftime.

Despite that 20-year absence, the Lady Trailblazers hit the ground running and picked up an easy 56-31 win against rival David Crockett at Viking Hall.

Using a stifling defensive effort absent for much of the regular season, Boone opened the game with a 16-2 run and never looked back.

"We knew going in we had to give a great effort," Boone coach Tim Campbell said. "Any time you play an intercounty rival, it's a scrum, but I thought our defense set the tone."

While the Lady Trailblazers shut down the Lady Pioneers on the defensive end, Megan Caldwell provided the offensive firepower.

Caldwell took the ball right at the heart of Crockett's defense and spent most of the first half shooting foul shots, sinking 10-of-12 in the contest.

"Megan played her best game of the season," Campbell said. "We've lived on the perimeter at times this season and we wanted to attack their defense and get the ball inside."

By the time Holly Nickels got into the act, Boone had a 30-point lead and was well on its way to a second-round matchup against Dobyns-Bennett.

Despite spending the whole fourth quarter on the bench, Caldwell ended up with 19 points and nine rebounds. Nickels added 13 points.

Lauren Murr led Crockett with seven points.

Campbell hopes the win gives his team a boost against a tough D-B squad on Wednesday.

"We've played them close twice, but in reality they've dominated us," he said. "They've really had our number and it's going to be another one of those games."

While Boone had things well in hand by halftime, Volunteer had to scratch and claw all the way to the buzzer to earn its way into the second round.

A huge effort by Chanoa Bledsoe and a great night at the foul line was enough to propel the Lady Falcons past Sullivan East. Bledsoe dropped a career-high 27 points and Volunteer went 17-for-21 from the foul line to claim a hard-fought 55-50 win.

The Lady Falcons entered the fourth quarter with an 11-point lead, but the Lady Patriots went on a 17-5 run and grabbed a 47-46 advantage when Jessica Keck hit a layup with 1:51 left in the contest.

But Bledsoe knocked down a clutch 3-pointer, Jessi Drinnon made a steal and Cynthia Lawson sank two free throws to put Volunteer back ahead for good.

Lawson made all eight of her free throw attempts while Bledsoe hit 5-of-6.

"We're playing better as a team," Bledsoe said. "We've been working hard on foul shooting, and it's really helping us."

Lawson had 14 points and six rebounds for Volunteer while Brandy Barton added six points and eight boards.

Keck had 12 points and seven rebounds for East. Megan Vannoy had 10 points and nine boards, and Kaycee Roberts pitched in with 10 points and eight boards.

Next up for Volunteer is a second-round matchup with Science Hill on Wednesday.

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