Lady Bobcats going to state! Avenge last year's loss to Booneville

Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Berryville's Sheena Spielberg, No. 22, hit this shot, and two big threes in the final 1:30 of the Lady Bobcats' game against Booneville. She also hit two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to seal the win for her team and send them to state. Teammate LaTisha Smith, No. 32, slipped inside Booneville's Britney Lyle, No. 23, to rebound, as Christina McNeal, No. 30, watches her pass to Spielberg become two points. (Photo by Michelle Wallis)

Coach Mitch Myrick and the Lady Bobcat basketball team is headed to the Class AAA State Tournament this week in Prescott after nipping the Booneville Lady Bearcats 43-41 in the first round of the Class AAA Regional at Ozark last Friday night.

The win avenged a loss to Booneville last year that kept Berryville from the goal of playing in state, making it all that much sweeter this year.

"I'm so proud of the girls," Coach Myrick said after the win. "We've been knocking on the door for two years, and we're just happy to be going to state."

Berryville (18-12) wasn't through with regionals, and faced Farmington, 26-3 and ranked 7th in Class AAA, on Saturday in the semifinals. Berryville took a 50-43 loss, putting them in the third/fourth place game on Monday against Prairie Grove, who is ranked 10th in state.

Farmington faced Greenland, 23-7 and ranked No. 3 in state in AAA, in the championship game later that night.

STATE AT PRESCOTT

Depending on the outcome of Monday's game with Prairie Grove, the Berryville girls will either play Wednesday at 1 p.m. if they are the No. 4 seed, or Friday at 4 p.m. if they are the No. 3 seed.

Games will be played at Prescott, near Hope in southern Arkansas.

CLASS AAA REGIONAL

Berryville vs. Booneville

Friday, Feb. 28

5-10, 20-18, 29-29, 43-41

The two teams battled it out point for point for three-and-a-half quarters, then Booneville went up 35-31 with 4:28 to play and held the ball.

Berryville had to foul, and the Lady Bearcats edged out 37-33 with 2:46 to play, when Lady Bobcat senior Sheena Spielberg came to life. Spielberg had been smothered all night with a diamond-and-one defense, but hit two threes and two key free throws in the final 1:30 to put Berryville over the top.

Lady Bobcat Kristy Wharton hit a deuce to cut Booneville's lead to 37-35, then Spielberg hit her first three of the night to put Berryville up 38-37. She swished another three with just 29 seconds to go to keep Berryville ahead 41-39, but Booneville's Rachel Miesner answered with two free throws with 18 seconds left to leave the score tied at 41-all.

Berryville held for a last shot, and Spielberg drove and was fouled with 4.4 seconds to play. She dropped both free throws through, and Booneville didn't get a shot off at the end.

"We were 0 for 9 on threes until Sheena hit that first one," Coach Myrick said. "She stepped up, and our offense stepped up at the end.

"Christina McNeal played great defense and with heart, and Lindsey Moore hit some big shots. Our seniors really stepped up. I thought all of our players played very well."

Scoring- BV- McNeal- 13; Spielberg- 13; Moore- 8; Wharton- 6; LaTisha Smith- 2; Danyaile Hagler- 1. BN- Amy Swint- 13; 10's- Lori Rowland, Paula Swint.

VS. FARMINGTON

Saturday, March 1

What could have been another Lady Bobcat victory turned into a free-throw contest for Farmington, who made 21 of 26 free throws while Berryville was allowed just 9 of 12.

Berryville fought back behind 12 points from Christina McNeal, and 11 from Sheena Spielberg, but Farmington put together an 11-0 run in the third quarter when the score was tied at 26.

April Carter gunned two threes in to start the run, then the Lady Cardinals hit 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth, 11 of 12 in the final minutes, to advance to the championship game.

Scoring- BV- McNeal- 12; Spielberg- 11; Lindsey Moore- 7; Stephanie Hicks- 6; Danyaile Hagler- 5; LaTisha Smith- 2. FN- Sarah Beavers- 17; Carter- 15; Lauren Dennis- 14.

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