After a regular season that saw them drop just two games in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, the eighth grade girls basketball squad from Peebles went into postseason play with high hopes as the number two seed in the SHAC tournament and a quarter final match up with number 7 seeded Fairfield. Tournaments are made for upsets, however, and the Lady Indians fell victim to just that on Saturday, Feb. 5 in action at Fayetteville High School.
After leading in the first half by up to 12 points, the Lady Indians fell apart in the second half, allowing an 11-0 Fairfield run to begin the third quarter and never recovering fully as the Lady Lions pulled off the biggest tournament upset of the day, downing the Lady Indians 45-38.
The game began well for the Lady Indians with Harlee Wilkinson getting a layup off the opening tip and Madison Beekman adding a basket to make it 4-0. After Fairfield got on the board, the Peebles scored the next six again combined by Wilkinson and Beekman to open up a 10-2 advantage. A three-pointer by the Lady Lions’ Molly Thackston narrowed the gap but a baseline jumper by Wilkinson and a late bucket by Tatum Arey left Peebles in the driver’s seat, leading 16-5 after one period.
With an Arey basket midway through the second quarter, the Lady Indians led 22-10 but a following 6-0 run by the Lady Lions seemed to turn the game’s momentum. Peebles got a steal and layup from Lilly Gray late in the half, but a basket by Fairfield’s Taylor Lawson pulled the Lady Lions to within 26-20 at the intermission.
That momentum for the Lady Lions carried right on over to the third quarter as they stunned the Peebles girls and bench by scoring the first 11 points of the period to grab a 31-26 lead, a lead they would never relinquish. Peebles did not score for the first five minutes of the third stanza, finally getting a three-point play from Gray and a free throw by Christian Reed with 1.6 seconds left kept the Lady Indians right in the game, trailing just 32-30.
The Lady Lions struck again for the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to go up six, but two Arey free throws kept Peebles within 38-34 with 2:59 to play. Fairfield gave the Lady Indians all the opportunities they could have wanted in the final quarter, missing a total of 15 free throws, but Peebles never took full advantage as the Lady Lions extended their lead to 42-34 and things looked very gloomy for the Tribe side.
A long three-pointer by Reed with 29.4 seconds to go cut the Fairfield lead to five but that was as close as the Lady Indians were going to get as the clock ran out on their season with the Lady Lions pulling off the upset and advancing to the SHAC semi-finals with a 45-38 win.
In the win, Fairfield was led by 16 points from Savanna Jones, 9 from Laynee Duffie, and 8 from Molly Thackston. The Lady Indians went to the free throw line 35 times in the game, only converting 12.
Peebles was led in their final outing of the year by 10 points from Madison Beekman, 9 from Tatum Arey, 6 each from Harlee Wilkinson and Christian Reed, and 5 from Lilly Gray.
The Lady Lions moved on to the SHAC tourney semis where they will battle Manchester on Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. on their home floor at Fairfield Junior High.
FJH 5 15 12 13 —45
PJH 16 10 4 8 —38
FJH (45): Jones 6 4-8 16, G. Lawson 0 2-2 2, Sanderson 1 0-4 2, Thackston 2 3-10 8, Duffie 4 1-5 9, T. Lawson 1 2-6 4, P. Wolfe 2 0-0 4, 16 12-35 45.
PJH (38): Beekman 5 0-1 10, Wilkinson 3 0-0 6, Reed 2 1-2 6, Arey 3 3-6 9, Gray 2 1-1 5, Brown 1 0-0 2, Team 16 5-10 38.
FJH- Thackston 1
PJH- Reed 1