Lady Trojans collar Lady 'Cats; advance to semifinals

Saturday, February 24, 2024
Dyersburg junior Joya Crawford goes in for a layup during the first quarter of Friday night's Region 7AAA Tournament Quarterfinal win over Bolton. Crawford, who had been off the court since a Feb. 2 injury, scored 13 in her return to the court.
State Gazette Photo/Jason Peevyhouse

JASON PEEVYHOUSE

jpeevyhouse@stategazette.com

With Dyersburg's girls returning to full strength for the first time in three weeks, the Lady Trojans got their journey through the Region 7AAA bracket off to a dominating start with a 82-42 win over Bolton on Friday night in the Terry Glover Gymnasium.

Lady Trojan Chelby Jordan leaps up for a rebound during Dyersburg's win in the Region 7AAA Quarterfinals on Friday night in the Terry Glover Gymnasium.
State Gazette photo/Jason Peevyhouse

“We really didn’t play that well tonight,” Dyersburg Head Coach Tim Strayhorn admitted. “I guess it was hard for us to get up to play them tonight, but we got the win.”

It only took a moment for the Lady Trojan offense to get going but, once it did, Dyersburg's scoring hit Bolton like a haymaker midway through the opening quarter. With the Lady Trojans already on top 5-1, a layup from Kalli Maclin got the ball rolling as a free throw by the returning Joya Crawford opened an 11-2 run which also saw buckets from the reunited junior duo as Dyersburg took a 16-6 lead with around three minutes left. A three-pointer from the Lady Wildcats interrupted the black and gold scoring before treys by Crawford and Kay Kay Strayhorn helped Dyersburg take a 24-8 lead after one quarter.

The Trojan scoring wave turned into a tsunami in the second quarter as a three-point play from Strayhorn opened a 15-5 scoring spree which was capped by a Jada Howard bucket to put Dyersburg on top 39-13 with about four minutes left in the half. With the Dyersburg reserves getting into the action for much of the rest of the half, Dyersburg took a commanding 52-20 lead at the break.

“It was important for our bench to play a lot today because they haven’t been playing lately,” Strayhorn explained. “Our bench is pretty deep. It’s kind of unfair for them not to get the minutes they deserve sometimes. It was good for them to get minutes in and all of them have a lot of experience playing. It was a great night for us.”

Highlighted by buckets from seniors Jasmine Jordan and Netala Dixon as well as a pair of three-pointers from Aerie Quinn, the Lady Trojans built their lead to 31 points during the third frame to take a 74-53 lead heading into the final frame.

With the clock running through the final frame, the Lady Trojans sealed the first step through the region tournament field to get the 40-point win over the Lady Wildcats.

Chelby Jordan led the way for the Lady Trojans with 16 points while Crawford added 13 in her first game back since Feb. 2. Strayhorn tossed in 11 in the win.

“It was a perfect game for her to come back and get her legs back up under,” Strayhorn said of Crawford. “She got some reps in and got some minutes in before this next game.”

As for Chelby Jordan, the Dyersburg head coach said the junior plays pretty good just about every night.

“She’s a well-round player,” Strayhorn added. “She’s having a great season.”

With all four District 13AAA teams winning on the girls' side on Friday night, Dyersburg returns to action on Tuesday when the Lady Trojans are scheduled to travel to Crockett County High School in Alamo for the Region 7AAA Semifinals. The black and gold will face Obion County Central in the first semifinal of the night at 6 p.m.

This will mark the fourth time the Lady Trojans have faced Central, having won the three previous meetings.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Dyersburg’s head coach said. “We’re going to watch film and get prepared for them. We know they run a lot of good stuff. They are well-coached and it’s going to be a great game.”

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