Creekview senior Lauren Johnson stole the show with 31 points, including 12 straight in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Pope (12-13) scored just six points in the fourth quarter, with its only field goal coming from Esther Paulk.
Johnson wasn’t the only Lady Grizzly to put up solid numbers. Dee Blankenship finished with 18 points.
After the game, Pope coach Courtney Harris said her team didn’t shoot well and failed to rebound effectively.
Henry was the only Lady Greyhound to reach double figures in scoring. Paulk and Reika Presley both finished with eight points.
Creekview coach Roger Nolan said this was a big game for his team to win after it was upset by Sprayberry in the opening round of last year’s region tournament. Not only that, but Pope played Creekview to within seven points in a Lady Grizzly win Jan. 28.
“I was concerned,” Nolan said. “The kids did a great job. Lauren Johnson was out-of-sight. She has been lights-out recently and has gotten in the groove after missing about 12 games (with an injury).”
In the teams’ last meeting, Henry put up 21 points. On Saturday, she matched the number, but she wasn’t nearly as dominant on the boards, and he earned eight of her points at the free-throw line.
Creekview (21-5) jumped to an 18-5 lead in the first quarter, but Pope was able to close the gap bit before the half with baskets from Reika Paulk and Henry. Bria Johnson’s three-point play moved Pope to within 30-21 at the half.
In the third, quarter Blankenship and Johnson combined to score 14 of the Lady Grizzlies’ 18 points, as they increased their lead to 13. After Paulk opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for Pope, her team went silent as Johnson took over with her string of points.
Pope didn’t score another field goal in the game and finished with just six points in the fourth quarter, while Creekview poured in 20.
Creekview advanced to face Osborne in Monday’s 3 p.m. semifinal. With the win, the Lady Grizzlies clinched a return trip into the state playoffs after missing out last season.