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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Kyrstin Branscum (Gravette 3) loses her balance as she tries to drive between two Berryville players during the championship round of the 1 4A Northwest Conference tournament at Lincoln High School Feb. 17.

LINCOLN -- They say that if you want something bad enough, all it takes is hard work and the determination to achieve a goal and anything is possible. For the Gravette Lady Lions, the will to want that something played out on the basketball court at Lincoln High School Feb. 17 as they defeated the Berryville Lady Bobcats to win the 1 4A Northwest Conference championship.

The road to the championship began Feb. 13 when the Lady Lions faced their first opponents of the tournament, the Pea Ridge Lady Blackhawks.

Gravette quickly took control of the contest, holding the Lady Blackhawks scoreless for the first five minutes of the game. But the Lady Blackhawks mounted a comeback and, by the end of the first half, trailed Gravette by only four.

The Lady Lions continued to play strong throughout the remainder of the contest and took the first-round win, 54-45, and eliminating the Pea Ridge Lady Blackhawks.

Gravette went on to the semifinal round of the tournament Feb. 16 where the girls faced the Huntsville Lady Eagles. As was the case against Pea Ridge, Gravette took the lead early and continued to outplay its Huntsville opponents and took their second victory of the tournament, 64-48, advancing to the championship round to face the top-seeded Berryville Lady Bobcats.

The gym at Lincoln High School was filled to near capacity as fans from Berryville filled one side and Gravette the other. From the opening tipoff, this contest would prove to be one of the most action-packed in the tournament as both the Lady Lions and Lady Bobcats fought to win it all.

Neither team was able to score in the first three minutes, but the Lady Bobcats finally put the first points on the scoreboard. At halftime, the Lady Lions were down by four points.

Though Berryville continued to dominate the boards in the second half and extended its lead to six with two minutes left in the third quarter, the Lady Lions were far from giving up the contest. With two minutes left in the third, the Lady Lions mounted a run that would eventually tie the game at 33 going into the final eight minutes of the contest.

Gravette took the lead a minute into the quarter and, with less than two minutes left in the game, the Lady Lions exploded and began a run that would leave the Lady Bobcats stunned.

Gravette pulled ahead on exceptional plays by Cally Kildow, Tori Foster, Teagan Dixon and Shylee Morrison, who began hitting bucket after bucket to extend Gravette's lead to five. With less than a second showing on the clock, a desperate Berryville coach called a timeout he had already used, drawing a technical. But the game was already over for the Lady Bobcats.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Gravette Lady Lions had taken the 1-4A Northwest Conference championship, 49-44, over the Berryville Lady Bobcats.

The Lady Lions will next travel to Berryville Feb. 21 to take on the West Fork Lady Tigers in the first round of the Region 4A North Girls Basketball Tournament. Game time for that contest is 7 p.m.

Game 1 Gravette-Pea Ridge

Gravette 15 10 15 15 -- 54

Pea Ridge 6 5 10 14 -- 45

Gravette: Kyrstin Banscum-16, Shylee Morrison-1 (1-3), Tori Foster-8 (2-3s), Cally Kildow-6, Gabbi Curtis-6, Teagan Dixon-6, Jessica Bookout-2.

Pea Ridge: Katelyn Swope-15 (4-3s), Hollyn Davis-13 (1-3), Sunny Olson-7 (1-3), Catherine Hooten-4, Kiley West-3 (1-3), Winn-2.

Three-pointers: Gravette 3, Pea Ridge 7.

Game 2 Gravette-Huntsville

Gravette 16 14 20 14 -- 64

Huntsville 13 10 17 8 -- 48

Gravette: Cally Kildow-16 (2-3s), Kyrstin Bramscum-13, Teagan Dixon-9, Tori Foster-8, Shylee Morrison-7, Gabbi Curtis-6, Jessica Bookout-2, Bernice Garcia-2, Mallory Smith-1.

Huntsville: Jose Sisk-19, Maci Campbell-16 (4-3s), Makayla Watkins-8 (1-3), Dezeray Sulffridege-3 (1-3), Kara Drewyer-2.

Three-pointers: Gravette 2, Huntsville 6.

Championship round

Gravette-Berryville

Gravette 10 13 10 16 -- 49

Berryville 11 16 6 11 --44

Gravette: Kyrstin Branscum-14, Gabbi Curtis-10, Cally Kildow-10 (2-3s), Jessica Bookout-5, Shylee Morrison-4, Tori Foster-3, Bernice Garcia-3 (1-3).

Berryville: Kelcee Hopper-17, Lexy Anderson-15, Hannah Morrell-5, Baylea Smith-3, Aspen Smith-2, McKayla Hussey-2

Three-pointers: Gravette 3, Berryville 0.

Sports on 02/21/2018

Print Headline: Lady Lions grab championship from Lady Bobcats

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