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Semifinals losses for Meadville, Norborne girls in Salisbury tourney Wednesday

In non-tourney play, Hardin-Central's boys topped Brunswick in Carroll-Livingston Activity Association prep basketball

As reported to C-T

The Norborne High School basketball Lady Pirates made a very strong bid to remain undefeated Wednesday (Jan. 6) even as they played as perceived underdogs in the championship semifinals of the Salisbury Invitational Tournament.

Similarly, Meadville’s Lady Eagles stayed in contention for an upset of the tourney’s top seed in their title semifinal.

Ultimately, both area teams succumbed against their larger-school foes, albeit going out with heads held high.

Third-seeded Norborne (4-1) poured through 35 second-half points after trailing second seed South Shelby 34-20 at halftime, but the Lady Pirates’ huge second-half surge only netted them a 58-55 defeat.

That outcome followed host Salisbury’s pulling away from Meadville (8-2) in the final quarter after entering it with only a 40-35 advantage. SHS’ 21-10 dominance of the last quarter permitted the Lady Panthers to exit their domed home floor 61-45 victors.

As a result of Wednesday’s outcomes, Meadville and Norborne will hook up in Friday’s 5:30 p.m. third-place game in Salisbury’s “dome.”

Meadville actually “got the drop” on Salisbury early, riding a pair of Kiera Holcer trays, offensive aggressiveness that got it to the free-throw line on four occasions, and tough defense which limited the No. 1 seed to one field goal in the first quarter to establish a 12-5 lead after that frame.

Salisbury solved it's offensive malaise in the second stanza, however, ringing up 21 points to charge to the front. Ahead 26-20 at intermission, SHS saw Meadville shave a point off that gap during the third quarter before closing with its second 21-tallies segment.

Khloe Wyatt’s 23 points and Rachel Fessler’s 20 powered the hosts. Freshman Korrie Holcer finished with a team-best 18 points for the Lady Eagles with senior sister Kiera totaling 13.

While Meadville tried to spring the upset with a fast start, Norborne attempted to do so with a strong “stretch run.”

Down 34-20 at halftime after being outscored 18-7 in the second quarter, the Lady Pirates nibbled three points off the mid-game deficit during the third before making their big push.

With post player Melanie Chaney having scored 15 points and twin sister Kayla Dooley 13 through three quarters, senior Olivia Dooley stepped up in the last frame for NHS.

With nine points of her own and four teammates providing a basket each – two of them outside the arc, newly-minted 1,000-points scorer O. Dooley helped Ken Brown’s Lady Pirates chop away at the 11-points deficit during the fourth quarter, but they ran out of time.

Cheney and O. Dooley finished with 17 points each and K. Dooley 15 as they tried to ward off their team’s initial 2020-21 defeat. South Shelby also had three twin-digits scorers, paced by Miranda Patterson’s 17.

The tournament’s boys’-division semifinal games Thursday will include Meadville’s boys facing Paris at 7:30 p.m. and Norborne going against neighbor Carrollton at 5:30 in consolation-side play.

(B) Hardin-Central 58, Brunswick 46

HARDIN — In a relatively-uncommon Wednesday night non-tournament game forced by a December COVID-19-influenced postponement, Hardin-Central’s Bulldogs turned back visiting Brunswick by 12 in Carroll-Livingston Activity Association action.

The HCHS boys (2-5, 1-1 conf.) scored 29 points in each half and were up by five at intermission.

The Bulldogs’ attack was powered by Trevor Gibson’s 20 points. J.W. Doyle tacked on 13.

Brunswick (4-6, 1-2) got a game-high 33 points from Gus Kussman, but only 13 from its other five players.

Brunswick will welcome league foe Hale/Bosworth Thursday. Hardin-Central plays at home vs. CLAA foe Tina-Avalon Friday.

No score on Wednesday’s girls’ game was available at the time of this story’s original posting.