Pickett County’s Season Ends In Quarterfinal Loss To Hampton

By Noah McKay

MURFREESBORO – The Pickett County Lady Bobcats season came to an end in a 78-64 loss against Hampton in the quarterfinal round of the Class A state tournament at the Murphy Center on Wednesday.

The Lady Bobcats showed fight throughout the game but ultimately fell short against a high-powered Hampton squad.

“The effort was great,” said PCHS head coach Brent Smith. “We just didn’t come out of the blocks well. We battled back but they just took over in the fourth quarter.”
The Hampton high-pressure defense caused problems for the Lady Bobcats early, forcing nine turnovers in the opening frame as the Lady Bulldogs took a 24-12 lead in the second quarter.

The Lady Bobcats adjusted to the defense in the second quarter as Emmy Lowe scored six points as part of 8-2 run to end the first half and cut the deficit to 36-28 at halftime.

The Lady Bobcats run continued in the third quarter, scoring the first six points of the frame on baskets by Lowe, Callie Reeder and Zoey Nicholas. They then took their first lead since the first minute of the game when Kaylee Tompkins made a transition layup with 2:44 remaining in the quarter to make it 46-44. Addy Lowe buried a jumper with 1:47 left to make it 48-44, prompting a Hampton timeout. PCHS took a 50-49 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs answered by rattling off a 9-0 run in less than two minutes to take a 58-52 lead with 6:01 remaining. The Bulldogs continued to build a lead through the middle of the frame before Nicolas made a running layup to cut the PCHS deficit to 65-58. The Lady Bobcats were unable to cut into the lead further as Hampton pulled away to secure the 78-64 victory.

“We just turned it over a little too much in the first quarter,” said Smith. “We did a good job of that as the game went on but sometimes when you battle back like that you run out of steam.”

Nicholas led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds in the final game of her impressive freshman season.

“To be a freshman and get to be in this position… it feels good,” said Nicholas. “It just was tough today to lose. Obviously, we’re young, we’ve just got to keep working.”

Reeder tallied 15 points and eight rebounds. Emmy Lowe scored 12 points. Ella Keisling and Tompkins scored six points each, and Addy Lowe scored four points.

“The effort was so much better in the third quarter,” said Emmy Lowe. “I thought we were really about to go on a run and finish the game, but I guess you just fall short sometimes.”

The Lady Bobcats ended the season with a 22-10 record with a roster featuring zero seniors. They were the Region 4/A champions and made their 13th appearance in the state tournament in school history.

“(The future) is great,” said Smith. “I think it really is, if we can take this and use it in the right direction.”

Photos by Michael Lindsay