Lady Cougars stunned in round one

Stephanie King

It was a long regular season, but that is now over, and it is win or go home from here on out. The Lady Cougars of Southwestern Randolph opened the state playoffs at home on Tuesday against the Southwest Guilford Cowgirls. The Cougars earned the number ten seed in the 3A west after finishing the regular season with a 23-4 overall record.

Southwest Guilford gave the Lady Cougars all they could handle in the first quarter of play. The Cowgirls opened the game with two quick buckets for a 4-0 lead before a bucket from Alexis Maness put the Cougars on the board. Moments later, Heaven Maness banked in a three to put the Cougars in front. She followed up the three with a coast to coast lay-in giving the Cougars a 7-4 advantage. Southwest Guilford answered with an 8-2 run to close out the quarter and take a 12-9 lead over the Cougars.

Heaven Maness tied the game at the start of the second with a three from the wing before pulling up a jumper that gave the Cougars the lead. The Cowgirls tied the game at 14-all, but a 6-0 run by the Cougars gave them a slight edge. Southwest Guilford pulled within three with a three from the corner. The Cougars would go four for six at the line for their final points of the quarter. The Cowgirls scored the final bucket of the half and trailed Southwestern Randolph 24-19.

Southwestern Randolph took a 26-19 lead at the start of the third quarter after a bucket from Alexis Maness. The Cowgirls would not be denied as they used a 6-0 run to cut the lead to one. Heaven Maness ended the run with a bucket in the paint before the Cowgirls cut the lead to one once again. Jordan Claborn scored on a putback to extend the Cougars’ lead, but a three from Southwest Guilford pulled them back within one. The Cowgirls added a free-throw to close out the quarter and tie the game at 31-31.

Alexis Maness put the Cougars up by three to open the final quarter before a three from the Cowgirls gave them a one-point lead. Ashton Maness answered with a three for the Cougars and Heaven Maness added a bucket giving the Cougars a 38-34 advantage. Southwest Guilford continued to cause trouble as they used a 12-0 run that included a pair of three to take an eight-point lead over the Cougars. Carley Everhart ended the run with a pair of free throws.

Claborn and Sarah Crews combined to go three for four at the line to cut the lead to three. Southwest Guilford extended their lead to five with a runout bucket, but Heaven Maness had the Cougars back within two after a three-point play. The teams traded points leaving the lead at two before the Cowgirls picked up three points the old-fashioned way to cap off their win. The Cougars season comes to an end after falling 53-48 to the Southwest Guilford Cowgirls.

Heaven Maness led the Cougars with 19 points, while Jordan Claborn finished with eight. Alexis Maness added seven and Ashton Maness added six for the Cougars.

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