TOP SEED Lexington girls defeat Dutch Fork to complete sweep of region titles
The last meeting between Lexington and Dutch Fork girls basketball teams saw the Lady Wildcats came away with a 45-31 victory over a scrappy Silver Foxes team.
With higher stakes (the winner of Friday’s matchup earning the top seed of out Region 5-5A in the Class 5A playoffs, his time promised even more sparks at River Bluff High School.
Both teams delivered a hard-fought, physical game, with the Lady Wildcats coming out on top 49-37.
In the same arena nearly 24 hours earlier saw the boys’ basketball team clinched a first-ever undefeated regular season in dramatic fashion, the Lady Wildcats clinched their second region title in 4 seasons under head coach Molly Goodrich and first outright title since 2000.
Ironically, the boys also won the region title that year and went on to claim the state title.
“We’ve been working on this goal,” said Goodrich, who’s posted a 70-34 overall record at Lexington, 27-12 in region play. “We were co-region champions in 2015 and so, all season long, this was our main goal was to be region champs and we battled through a lot of injuries and a lot of personal things.”
The Lady Wildcats’ leading scorer and University of South Carolina commit Olivia Thompson injured his ankle after hitting her 3rd consecutive 3-pointers to give Lexington a 9-0 start.
Brooke Foulks added 2 more on a layup before Dutch Fork’s Kennedy Williams laid in her team’s first two points. The Silver Foxes spent the first quarter making transitions difficult for the Wildcats and disrupting their ball movement, using that to pull to within 16-13 at the end of the first period.
Lexington came out running in the second quarter, which created foul shooting opportunities on both sides of the ball. Thompson sank 2 free throws with 2:11 remaining in the half to give Lexington an 11-point lead before Dutch Fork cut it to 27-20 at the break.
In the third period, another Thompson’s 4th 3-pointer pushed the Lady Wildcats’ lead back to 32-22 with 5:14 left in the period, The Silver Foxes battled back by forcing turnovers and Wareanna Butler scored 5 straight points to cut the Lady Wildcats’ lead to 36-30 entering the final stanza.
The fourth quarter saw Lexington pull away as Thompson sunk her 5th 3-pointer with 3:50 left to give the Lady Wildcats their biggest lead at 45-32. For the second straight night, Lexington fans would celebrate in the fans and on the court a region basketball champion.
Thompson finished with 21 for Lexington and Foulks added 19, including seven points at the free throw line. Katrice Jackson led Dutch Fork’s scoring with 10 points.
Both teams will open the Class 5A playoffs at home Tuesday.
“We can go pretty far,” Goodrich said. “With (Thompson) at my side and the supporting girls...with this team, they’ll never give up.”