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Staff photo by Patrick MacCoon / Silverdale Baptist Academy senior Marlee Montgomery puts up a shot in the paint during Thursday's Division II-A East Region semifinals at Notre Dame High School. Silverdale lost 42-39 to Knoxville Webb.

The road to the TSSAA final four in Division II-A will be much tougher now for Silverdale Baptist Academy's Lady Seahawks and the Boyd Buchanan Buccaneers.

While both local district champions had Notre Dame High School's Phifer Gym buzzing at times, a pair of Knoxville teams battled to victory and first-round state tournament byes Thursday night.

The Lady Seahawks (22-7) opened the nightcap with the first two impressive runs but ultimately fell 42-39 to Knoxville Webb. Boyd Buchanan's defense flashed early in the fourth quarter, but the Bucs were outlasted by Grace Christian, 58-48.

Silverdale's Tessa Gibson picked an opponent's pocket and finished with a strong take to the hoop for a 13-11 lead to cap a 6-0 run with 5:38 remaining before halftime.

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Silverdale girls, Boyd Buchanan boys

After trailing at halftime, Victor Underwood's team struck back to begin the third quarter. The Lady Seahawks finished an 8-0 run to build a 22-18 lead after Lane Bone rose to reject a shot freeing Gracie Renegar to connect with a streaking Marlee Montgomery for a fast-break layup with 5:21 left in the third period.

The Lady Spartans (12-16) found an edge as Madelyn Ladd was left wide open and hit back-to-back 3s to take a 33-32 lead with 5:52 remaining.

Bone and Gibson hit clutch free throws late, as Silverdale finished 10-of-12 from the line, but Webb held on to victory with Ladd scoring eight of her 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Bone, a Miss Basketball finalist, was a force again, scoring 18 points. Montgomery added 15 with Gibson making three steals for the Lady Seahawks.

In the boys' game, Boyd Buchanan (24-5) faced a length-filled Grace Christian (15-12), which jumped out to a 20-11 lead with Josiah Brown draining a trio of right-corner 3s in the first quarter.

Grace's BJ Marable was unstoppable at times and went through three defenders at one point for a tough finish. Marable led his team with 21 points, while teammate Jalen Green built a 10-point lead at the third-quarter buzzer, sinking a high-arching layup from the left baseline at the buzzer.

"We have been good at bouncing back all year," Boyd Buchanan coach Josh Templeton said. "Our guys have a lot of heart and will bounce back. These are some of the toughest guys I have ever seen. They are going to love the challenge. They like the difficult route and are going to embrace it."

Ian Johnson led the Bucs with 11 points, while Ryan Johnson was a spark plug coming off the bench with 10 points and applying heat defensively.

Contact Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.

 

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