RUTLEDGE — Happy Valley made it a one possession game twice. Each time it couldn’t get over the hump against the state’s top-ranked Class AA girls team.
Miss Basketball finalist Allison Hodge led four double-digit scorers with 26 points as District 2-AA champ Grainger eliminated the Lady Warriors 67-54 in Region 1-AA quarterfinal play at Grainger High School.
Happy Valley trailed by double digits on three different occasions prior to the fourth quarter, each time willing its way back within striking distance. The Lady Warriors couldn’t deny Grainger on their offensive glass and inside baskets from Hodge and Blake Lamb proved to be the difference.
“The difference in the ball game, to me, was the rebounding,” said Happy Valley coach Larry Abel. “We got a lot of stops. I thought we outplayed them in the first half. The opportunities they got on second chances — we packed a tight zone on them and forced them to shoot the outside shot, but they got the offensive boards and that was the difference.”