Murfreesboro, TN – The Seymour Lady Eagles’ run through the state tournament was an uphill battle for the continual underdogs. SHS defeated Livingston Academy in the elite eight match-up on Thursday. Livingston, who claimed the title in 1999, entered the game behind the scoring of junior forward and Miss Basketball nominee Katrina Beechboard. Seymour was expected to reply with its own star scorer, Brooke Johnson. As it turned out, the deciding factor was the total team effort.
Seymour scored quickly; baskets by Ashley Murphy and Heather Wright gave Seymour a 4-0 lead. Christen Cates answered for the Lady Wildcats with 5 straight points on a jump shot and 3 free throws. Johnson scored inside for Seymour for a brief 6-5 lead, but Beechboard hit a short jumper to end the first 7-6 L.A.
Livingston came out gunning in the second and mounted an 8-2 run highlighted by a Baltimore three. Enter freshman Brittany Mikels for the Lady Eagles. An assist to Johnson, who converted the three point play followed by another good feed to the center started Seymour’s rally. Mikels then controlled Beechboard on the defensive side leaving Wright and Murphy an opportunity to repeat their game-starting scoring. Both connected and the game was knotted at 17 with :51 left before half. Beechboard managed to slip the defense and knocked down a mid-range jumper and two from the charity stripe to put LA up 21-17 at half.
Beechboard missed her first shot of the third quarter, Mikels rebounded and passed to Wright who then gave the ball up for a powerful Johnson score. Johnson drained two foul shots and the score was tied at 21 all. Beechboard scored on her third shot to regain the lead for LA, but Lady Eagles Peterson and Wright answered to give SHS a 25-23 lead. The Lady Wildcats responded with a Thurman three and Johnson tied things back up with an inside basket, then completed another three point play to put Seymour up by one. Beechboard hit again in route to her 19 point performance, when Mikels got inspired. Tickling the net on a jumper to put Seymour back up by one. LA hit a foul shot at the end of the period to tie the score yet again at 30 – 30.
Mikels was just getting started, scoring five straight points for Seymour to keep them close at 36-35 in the fourth. Peterson and Wright connected from the stripe to get things even at 38. Johnson then stepped up for a huge basket to put Seymour up 40-38. Beechboard was ready to respond after an LA timeout, but dribbled the ball of her foot and out of bounds. The Lady Wildcats fouled Johnson with :06 left and she put the game away by hitting them both. Down by four a desperate three pointer at the buzzer by Beechboard was not enough and Seymour upset Livingston Academy 42-41 to move on to a final four appointment with Martin Westview.
Beechboard was frustrated throughout the game by the Seymour defense. LA coach Lesley Smith said that the teams that could handle Beechboard, had inflicted the nine losses on them. “She’s won several games for us in this situation,” referring to the costly turnover at the end of the game.
Johnson, who hit for 18 (6-8 fg, 6-6 ft), was calm post but noted, “This was a huge win because it gives us the confidence to keep going.” Coach Randy Moore was happy with his team’s effort, “The way they were playing Brooke, everybody else had to step up and they did.” Indeed they did as Wright netted 8, Mikels had her 7 point scoring stretch, while Peterson chipped in 5 and Murphy 4.

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