For First Time in School History, Both Basketball Teams are Headed to State Finals

For the first time in Webb School history, both the girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams will play in the BlueCross Basketball Championship state finals. The Lady Spartans ended Northpoint Christian School’s run for a Division II-A state championship three-peat, yesterday, in a one-point, 48-47, nail-biting state semifinal. The Spartan boys followed with an equally exciting back-and-forth game, holding on for a 43-38 win over Lausanne Collegiate, and their first-ever state final appearance.

The Northpoint Lady Trojans grabbed an 11-10 lead over the Lady Spartans after the first quarter of Thursday’s girls' state semifinal at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville. But Webb charged ahead to a 17-12 score early in the second. Northpoint answered to take an 18-17 lead; Webb then bounced back, finishing the first half ahead, 26-21. Lady Spartan junior and Miss Basketball finalist Casey Collier hit all 10 of her points in the first half.

Webb held off Northpoint, 35-34, after three quarters; however, the Lady Trojans opened the last period with five straight points to take the lead, 39-35. Following two foul shots by senior Hayley Luttrell, who along with Collier, led the Lady Spartans with a game-high 10 points, the score was tied 39-39. Northpoint responded, grabbing a four-point lead with 1:17 remaining in the game.

The Lady Trojans led 47-43 with just 47 seconds left, but the Lady Spartans would not be denied their spot at the state final as freshman Macy Barnes nailed a three-pointer with half a minute to go, followed by Luttrell’s two free throws at the 18-second mark – sealing the victory for Webb.

The Spartan boys controlled the tempo of their semifinal match-up, Thursday, against defending DII-A state champion Lausanne; at times slowing the game down to a near stop and throwing off the Lausanne Lynx team’s rhythm.

The score remained tight throughout the first half with Webb trailing the Lynx, 21-20. Both teams proved strong on defense, including a game-high eight rebounds by Spartan junior Charlie Wyrick.

The Spartans took a 22-21 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter and headed into the final period up 29-27. Lausanne answered to tie the game, 29-29, with 5:54 left. At the two-minute mark, the Spartans had a three-point edge over the Lynx, 34-31. Senior Myles Rasnick, who led the Spartans with 21 points, drained a three-pointer at the 1:31 mark, giving Webb a six-point lead. With just one minute left in the game, Webb was up 38-34 and never looked back to clinch its historic bid to the state championship final.

The five-time state champion Lady Spartans will take on Franklin Road Academy for this year’s Division II-A championship title, Saturday, March 3, beginning at 1 p.m. CST/2 p.m. EST at Allen Arena. Making their debut at the boys state championship final, the Spartans will face region and district rival Grace Christian Academy, beginning at 3 p.m. CST/4 p.m. EST.

The TSSAA Division II-A state championship finals will be broadcast live via the NFHS Network at: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/schools/webb-school-of-knoxville-knoxville-tn

An NFHS Network account is required, as well as a monthly pass (one month - $9.95).

Fans can also access free live audio coverage and live stats at: http://tssaasports.com/basketball/

The games will also be broadcast live on MyVLT (MyNework) in Knoxville.
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