JONESBOROUGH — With their seasons on the line, Dobyns-Bennett used a big run to overcome a slow start while Tennessee High used one to avoid a devastating finish.
The Lady Vikings engineered a 16-0 spurt at the beginning of the fourth quarter to erase a five-point deficit and put away upset-minded Daniel Boone 57-45 on Tuesday night in the first round of the District 1-AAA girls basketball tournament.
In the nightcap, the Lady Indians fell behind 7-0 before hitting Volunteer with a 41-6 run on their way to an easy 63-28 victory.
The third-seeded Lady Vikings and the No. 2 Tribe advanced to face each other in Friday’s semifinals, which will also feature a matchup between top-seeded Science Hill and No. 4 Sullivan Central.
The seventh-seeded Lady Falcons and sixth- seeded Lady Trailblazers were eliminated.
The Tribe made a first-round exit from the district tournament last season, and D-B coach Roger France said his team didn’t want to experience that feeling again.
So after falling behind early, the Lady Indians held the Lady Falcons without a field goal for nearly two quarters and pushed their lead to 41-13 when Haley Clark knocked down her fourth 3-pointer of the game in the final minutes of the third period.
“This year we wanted to make sure we had the intensity because this is the biggest game — if you lose, you’re done,” France said. “I thought we did what we had to do. We get a chance to play in the region and we get a chance to play on Friday night.”
Clark and Hillary Gray led the Tribe (18-7) with 14 points each while Ashley Lindholm also scored 14 to pace Volunteer (9-15).
After seeing his team manhandled by Tennessee High last Thursday, Daniel Boone coach Tim Campbell wanted to take the fight to the Lady Vikings this time around.
Campbell told his team to channel the effort Boone’s football team showed when it went into the Stone Castle and shocked the Vikings to pick up a playoff win last fall.
“We wanted to play tonight with the football mentality that coach (Jeremy) Jenkins brought, going up there and winning,” Campbell said. “Third quarter, we’ve not even dreamed of playing that well all season long.”
The Lady Trailblazers trailed by 10 points at the break before coming alive after halftime. Living on the 3-point shot, Boone hit Tennessee High with a 16-0 run to take a 41-36 lead going into the fourth.
“We lost our composure a little bit,” Tennessee High coach Barry Wade said. “It was a little physical. Thursday night when we played them, we were pretty physical with them and I know Tim challenged his bunch to come back at us today and they did a good job.”
The upset was not to be, however, as Boone seemed to tire after engineering the comeback. The Lady Vikings responded and returned the favor with a 16-0 run of their own to start the fourth period to put the game out of reach.
“We knew that if we could get calmed down and get back and score, our pressure defense would really take over,” Wade said.
Blakeley Burleson led Tennessee High (19-8) with 14 points while Ice Brown added 11.
Courtney Baskett hit seven of Boone’s 11 3-pointers to lead the way with 23 points. Jordan Bacon added 12 for the Lady Trailblazers (10-5).