Lower Richland’s run ends early
The Lower Richland Lady Diamond Hornets took their earliest exit from the state playoffs since 2005, after losing to Crestwood 50–48 to Crestwood Thursday, February 17. After a run that started in 2006 with three straight Class 4A state championships, one Class 3A state championship, and a trip to last year’s Class 3A semifinals, the Lady Diamond Hornets’ season came to a conclusion in the second round.
Crestwood raced to an early 9– 5 lead and extended that lead to 19–6 early in the second quarter, but a bucket from Antoinette Montgomery appeared to shift the momentum to Lower Richland. The Lady Diamond Hornets went on a 16– 5 run to get back into the game and only trailed 25– 24. A bucket from Crestwood gave the Knights a three–point lead at the half.
The Lower Richland momentum carried over into the second half, but it wasn’t until a bucket from Chelsea Dennis with 2:45 left in the third quarter that Lower Richland regained the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter. However, that lead was short lived as Crestwood tied the score on the following possession.
For most of the fourth quarter, Crestwood held a small lead. With 41 seconds left, Jasmine Richardson hit a shot that gave Lower Richland a 48– 47 lead. Crestwood held the ball for the final shot and was able to cash in with a bucket and a free throw shot to hold a 50–48 lead with 5.5 seconds left. With one last opportunity, Breshay Johnson drove to the bucket and drew a foul as time expired, giving Lower Richland a final shot to tie the game from the free throw line. However, her first shot missed, ending the game and preserving the win for Crestwood.