Lady Cats defeated in state semi-finals

Published 4:00 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Zaikia Dawson and Alexis Burke combined for 35 points Wednesday at the Gwinnett Arena, but it was not enough, as the Bainbridge High School Lady Cats fell to the defending State AAAA champion Southwest DeKalb High School Lady Panthers 80-48.

Dawson led the way with 19, and Burke added 16. Kayla

Lewis of the Lady Panthers took game-scoring honors with 29.

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The loss eliminated the Lady Cats from the state Class AAAA Final Four tournament.

The Lady Panthers advanced to Friday’s state Class AAAA championship game against Fayette County, which defeated Jonesboro 43-41 Wednesday.

Head coach Latreisha Moon, who said she was very proud of her Region 1AAAA champion Lady Cats, which won 17 of their last 18 and finished 21-6.

“When the season started, our goal was to win the Region 1AAAA championship, and we far exceeded that,” she said. “We played hard Wednesday, but Southwest DeKalb was a very talented team.”

Burke went to the bench with two quick fouls in the first quarter. When the quarter came to close, the Lady Panthers were ahead 24-9.

The Lady Cats pulled to within 12 points in the second quarter when LaShawnda Middleton hit a layup, but they quickly fell further behind when several Lady Panthers hit 3-point shots.

At halftime, the Lady Cats were down 43-27.

Going into the third quarter, Lady Cat forward Vannessa Jones hit a layup to get the Lady Cats to within 15 at 47-32.

Burke picked up her fourth foul on a pushoff under the basket in the middle of the third quarter.

The Lady Panthers led 68-39 at the end of the third quarter.

Despite their best attempts to battle back, the Lady Cats were unable to cut the lead below double digits.