What a difference a year makes for local teams

Saturday, February 24, 2018

When local fans picked up the final Sunday paper of the month of February last year, we had just lost two girls basketball teams in Region 7 quarterfinal action as both Dyer County and Dyersburg went down to the defeat in elimination action on Feb. 24, 2017.

Jason Peevyhouse, State Gazette sports editor

Jump forward practically a year - 364 days to be precise - and the script has now been flipped.

Fittingly, the Lady Trojans and Lady Choctaws were able to get their Region 7 quarterfinal wins over the respective teams which ended their seasons a dozen months earlier.

Things were close for about a half over in Newbern on Friday night before a dominant third quarter by the Lady Choctaws propelled Dyer County’s girls to a convincing 86-51 win over the Lady Warriors to advance to the region semifinals.

Dyer County will take on a familiar foe in the Region 7AAA semis as Arlington awaits the Lady Choctaws in the next round which is Monday night at Bolton.

In terms of results, this year’s path through the postseason has been identical to Dyer County’s state tournament run of two years ago and the Lady Choctaws will look to keep that string going against the Lady Tigers on Monday night.

Dyersburg also got to hand out some payback that was 364 days coming as the Lady Trojans were forced to rely on their younger players during the early stages of the fourth quarter.

To their credit, the Dyersburg underclassmen stepped up to the challenge and, even with a couple questionable calls down the stretch, the Lady Trojans found a way to win and advance to the Region 7AA Semifinals for the second time in three years under head coach Joel Ayers.

Next up for the Lady Trojans in a 13AA dominated bracket will be the lone 14AA team to survive Friday night action as Dyersburg will face McNairy Central in the Region 7AA Semifinals on Monday night down in Selmer.

Like the Lady Trojans, McNairy had to gut out its quarterfinal win over Obion County Central and Ayers said he saw some likenesses to district rival Westview in the Lady Bobcats’ makeup when scouting them during the 14AA tournament.

That being said, the Road to Murfreesboro only gets more treacherous in the next round as, like region quarterfinal games, the semifinals are win-or-go-home contests with seasons and careers on the line.

If you can make it, and I know both Bolton and Selmer are a haul, but I encourage those of orange and white as well as the black and gold nation to jump in the car and go support the teams.

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