|Tuesday, March 4
Tennessee team stays close with its stall tactics
LEXINGTON, Tenn. -- McNairy Central had a simple yet effective game plan for the Class AA regional girls playoff game Monday night against Chester County -- hold the ball.
It nearly worked, and in the process set what's believed to be a state record for the lowest-scoring girls basketball game.
Chester County's Rebecca Rowsey, who has committed to play at Georgia, scored a basket and free throw late in overtime for the winning margin in a 7-4 victory.
Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association historian Nelson Smotherman said he believes the game set a record.
''Our records go back to 1922, and while we had a 6-2 boys game, that is the lowest scoring girls game,'' Smotherman told The Jackson Sun newspaper. ''(It) reminds me of when they played with peach baskets.''
Chester County led 4-2 in the first quarter when McNairy decided to hold the ball. With no shot clock, McNairy coach Jerry Lott was content to sit on the ball and take his chances later.
''We kept it close,'' Lott said. ''We just wanted to try to keep it close and get a break to win.''
The score remained 4-2 until midway through the fourth quarter, when McNairy's Chasity Luster made two free throws to send it to overtime.
''They just ran a stall offense on us,'' Chester County coach Lee Pipkin said. ''We just tried to be patient on offense.''
With 1:30 left in overtime, Rowsey was fouled as she scored, moving Chester County along in the playoffs. Rowsey averages 18 points a game.
''They decided they were not going to let her catch the ball,'' Pipkin said. ''They had her triple-teamed all night long. ... They had a good game plan.''