PREP BASKETBALL: West Point rallies to defeat Mortimer Jordan 51-48 and advance to Northwest Regional Finals

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West Point’s Mackenzie Carter (23) led the Lady Warriors with 18 points in their 51-48 win over Mortimer Jordan in the Northwest Regional semifinals Saturday. (Bill Piper for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Play at this year’s Northwest Regional Tournament resumed Saturday morning and at noon, the West Point Lady Warriors tipped off their regional semifinal clash against Mortimer Jordan. After trailing at halftime and falling behind early in the fourth quarter, West Point rallied late to knock off the Lady Blue Devils and advance to the elite eight.

The Lady Warriors fell behind 3-0 early in the opening quarter but Mackenzie Carter laid one in to cut the lead to one and Lexi Shadix netted a free throw to tie things up around the five-minute mark. Carter scored inside again to give West Point a 5-3 advantage midway through the first and a Miriam Oldacre basket kept the Lady Warriors in front 7-6. Molly Pendley down an offensive board and scored to make it 9-6 with less than three minutes to play in the period. Pendley knocked down a three to add to the lead with two minutes on the clock and Carter buried two more from the free throw line to make it a 14-6 with just over a minute remaining in the first and West Point carried a 14-8 lead into the second.

Shadix drilled a three-pointer to keep the Lady Warriors in front 17-11 early in the second quarter and Carter knocked down two more free throws to make it 21-16 midway through the period. The Lady Blue Devils were to able to cut the lead to two late in the second and a three from the top of the key gave them a 1-point lead. Mortimer Jordan built a 25-21 lead in the final minute of the half but Shadix was able to score one more bucket before the buzzer and West Point went into the locker room trailing 25-23 at the break.

Micah Oldacre drilled back to back three-pointers to get the third quarter started and put the Lady Warriors back in front 29-25. Ryleigh Jones scored inside to add to the lead but a three from the Lady Blue Devils on other end cut the lead to 31-28 with five minutes to play in the period. Both teams struggled to make shots for a lot of the third, but West Point held a 33-30 lead with a minute to play in the quarter. Mortimer Jordan hit a three with 20 seconds remaining to tie the game but Pendley responded with a three on the other end to put the Lady Warriors back in front 36-33. However, the Lady Blue Devils were able to tie the game and take the momentum into the fourth after a corner three knotted the score at 36 just before the buzzer.

Carter laid one in to keep the game tied at 38 early in the fourth quarter but Mortimer Jordan knocked down another triple to go back on top by three. Carter scored again to cut the lead to one at the six-minute mark, but the Lady Blue Devils dropped in another shot from beyond the arc to make it 44-40 with just over five minutes to play. Pendley buried another trey to trim the lead to one midway the period and Micah Oldacre added a three of her own to reclaim a 46-44 lead for West Point with three minutes remaining.

Carter drilled a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to four and that’s when the Lady Warriors began to take time off the clock. After a long possession that took nearly a minute off the clock, Miriam Oldacre hit one of two free throws to make it a 49-44 game with less than a minute to play. Mortimer Jordan hit a jumper to cut it to three on the ensuing possession and retook possession down 49-46 with 14 seconds remaining. After being fouled on a three-point attempt with four seconds to play, the Lady Blue Devils hit two of three from the line to make it a 1-point game but Carter buried two more from the line with less than a second on the clock to ice the 51-48 win for West Point.

Carter led the Lady Warriors with 18 points in the win. Pendley finished with 11, Micah Oldacre added nine and Shadix posted eight for West Point.

The Lady Warriors will play Madison Academy in the Northwest Regional Finals Wednesday at 9 a.m.

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