By Wil Crews

Winning their final two regular season games and earning a first round bye in the AISA Class AAA State Tournament, the Lee-Scott Academy Lady Warriors entered the playoffs with momentum.

On Monday afternoon, with a trip to the state semifinals on the line, the No. 2 seed defending champions LSA faced off against No. 1 seed Clarke Prep.

Having already played each other in November, with Clarke Prep winning 42-17, Lady Warriors head coach Corye Ivatt said she expected a new challenge this time around.

 “I think it’s kind of a fresh slate,” Ivatt said. “I don’t expect them to play the same as they did when we played them in November. We don’t expect to play the same either. So I think it’s kind of a different ball game.”

Lee-Scott began the game well, leaping out to an early 8-4 lead after the first quarter. However, Clarke Prep ended the half on a fiery run, sparked by their defense, to take a 14-11 into the half.

The deficit hovered around there until the game’s final moments. With 9.6 seconds remaining, Lee-Scott trailed 30-28. The Lady Warriors sent Clarke Prep to the free throw for a one-and-one free throw situation. The first shot missed and it looked like Lee-Scott could grab the rebound for one final chance to tie or win the game. However, a scramble for the ball resulted in an out of bands call, the last touch coming from a Lady Warrior. Timeout Clarke Prep. The teams returned to floor and Lee-Scott was forced to foul again, sending Clarke Prep to the free throw line, this time for two shots. Grace Davis sank both of her free throws to ice the game and secured the 32-28 win for Clarke Prep.

After winning the state title last season, the LSA Lady Warriors were officially bounced from the playoffs in the Elite Eight. Congrats on a great season ladies!