No. 8 Slocum Hands Second-Ranked Martinsville First Loss + Punches Ticket to Regional Final
TYLER — To get to the regional final, the eighth-ranked Slocum Lady Mustangs had to do something no team had done so far this season: defeat No. 2 Martinsville.
Slocum did just that with a 44-30 win Friday in a Class A Division I Region III semifinal at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gym.
Now, to advance to the state tournament, Slocum (32-2) must do something no team has been able to do in eight years: knock off top-ranked Martin's Mill in a regional final. The teams meet at 10 a.m. Saturday back at Wagstaff.
After a slow first half against Martinsville (34-1), Slocum's offense came alive in the second half as the Lady Mustangs scored 30 of their 44 points in the final two quarters.
They began to pull away about halfway through the third when Kelsee Webb hit Slocum's first 3-pointer of the game for a 20-18 lead. Valerie Larkin added another the next trip down the court to make it 23-18, the biggest lead held by either team at that point.
Slocum took that lead into the fourth quarter, and pushed it to seven with just less than six minutes to play when Landry Lane made a layup, only to see Martinsville's Gabby Spencer hit a long-range 3-pointer to cut the lead back to four.
Larkin answered immediately with a 3 of her own to push the lead back to seven, and a 3-point play by Jordan Ives after a Spencer missed 3-pointer made it a 10-point game with four minutes remaining.
But despite holding the lead, Slocum continued shooting early in possessions, and the shots stopped falling.
The Lady Pirates took advantage and clawed back to within six, 33-27, with 2:05 remaining, but couldn't get any closer.
Larkin led Slocum with 15 points and added five rebounds, while both Ives and Webb finished with 12 points. Ives led Slocum with six rebounds.
Spencer led all scorers with 17 points, and Taylor Enloe added eight, but Martinsville got no more than three from any other player.