Photos by Dalton Barrett
Number one Blackman defeated two-time defending state champion Riverdale 82-66 to advance to the region championship game. Blackman went on a 10-to-1 run to start the third quarter, extending their two-point halftime lead to 15 by the end of the eight-minutes. Blackman sophomore Crystal Dangerfield led her team with 23 points. Alex Johnson followed with 16. Riverdale senior and Clemson signee Shelbie Davenport led her team with 24. Tennessee signee Alexa Middleton had 16. The Lady Blaze improve to 29-and-1 with the win. They will face Oakland for the region title Wednesday night at 7. WGNS pregame coverage begins at 6:45pm. Both teams will be guaranteed a sectional tournament game, with the winner hosting and the loser traveling to the Bradley Central / Cumberland County game winner. Sectional games will be on Saturday. WGNS will have coverage of both games on State Farm Prep Basketball.
The Riverdale girls see a historical run of state championship appearances end. They were in the last four state championship games, winning three titles and finishing runner up in the other. It's an accomplishment other local teams will be chasing. The Blackman and Oakland girls are first out of the gate.
Interesting note: Second-ranked Science Hill, which finished runner up to Riverdale the past two seasons, fell to Morristown West 52-43 last (Monday) night to end their season. Hilltopper senior Tianna Tarter picked up two technical fouls in their win over Seymour last Friday, was ejected, and was serving a two-game suspension.