The Mercer County Titans girls basketball team’s (24-8) season came to an end in the 12th Region tournament championship at the hands of the Southwestern Warriors (25-7) in a 42-58 loss Saturday, March 5. The Warriors had the perfect plan to stop Mercer’s inside attacking offense with a 1-3-1 zone defense that held Mercer’s star player Timberlynn Yeast to six points when she averaged over 21 points on the year.
Teigh Yeast started the game off with a 3-pointer for the Titans and Southwestern followed up with a layup on their first possession, 3-2. Kinsley Molden hit a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound from the Warriors to give them the lead, 3-5. Lindsay Jessie had her first chance to score and was fouled under the basket. She made both free throws to tie up the game 5-5.
With the Warriors locking down the paint and driving lanes Anna Kate Drakeford took the deep shot and knocked down a 3-pointer, 8-5. Southwestern recaptured the lead with Ayden Smiddy getting hot hitting two mid-range shots and a 3-pointer for a seven point run, 8-12. Timberlynn Yeast attacked the paint and drew a crowd before passing to Jessie for an easy layup, 10-12.
The Warriors added two points with a post move, but Teigh Yeast answered back with a running floater, 12-14. Smiddy and Molden put together two successful possessions to come away with four points extending their lead to six points, 12-18. Drakeford earned two free throws off of a steal and made both shots, 14-18. In the last minute of the first quarter Smiddy made another mid-range shot and Drakeford answered with her second 3-pointer of the night, 17-30.
Timberlynn Yeast started the second quarter with another good feed to Jessie inside for a floater, 19-20. Timberlynn with another assist to Jessie on a fast break put Mercer ahead by one, 21-20. The Warriors went on a seven point run as Mercer couldn’t settle into a rhythm on offense, 21-27. Teigh Yeast ended the Southwestern run with another shot behind the arc to cut the margin to three, 24-27.