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Lady Braves earn spot in Invitational championship

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By Ryan Naus

The GCHS Lady Braves started the Grant County Invitational with two wins and didn’t want to end their streak.

With a 51-43 win over Newport, the girls ran their streak to three wins in a row, putting them over .500 for the season, and earning them a spot in the championship game.

“I thought we really executed well in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter,” coach Darrell Guffey said. “When they make plays, that makes it easy.”

The Lady Braves started off strong as Amber Cope, Tyanna Workman, Dawn Plunkett and Candace Gorby each scored to start the game, leading Grant County to a 10-7 lead after the first quarter.

Workman started the second quarter with a drive, kissing the ball off the backboard for a basket for a 12-7 lead. Newport answered with two baskets to cut into Grant County’s lead, but Morgan McClure maneuvered under the basket for a score.

Shayna Lockard then drew a foul underneath the basket, hitting two free throws to extend Grant County’s lead. McClure followed that up by missing two free throws, but Lockard grabbed the rebound and scored.

Gorby ended the half with a free throw to put the Lady Braves ahead 19-13.

Newport started the half with a basket, but Lockard and Workman started the second half strong, accounting for six straight points before Newport scored on back-to-back possessions, putting the game at 25-22.

Gorby hit a free throw and then McClure took over for a stretch, scoring twice to extend the Lady Braves lead to four at 30-25.

Plunkett floated a shot in, putting Grant County ahead 32-29 heading into the final quarter.

The teams traded scores to start the final quarter, but for every bucket by Newport, Grant County scored twice to extend their lead to 42-35.

Cope drained a key three pointer and Lockard made a defensive play, blocking a shot, which Plunkett picked up and drove the length of the floor for a score.

Grant County hit their free throws down the stretch to earn the win.

“We’ve been trying to work on finishing,” Guffey said. “We’ve had some players make plays they haven’t made this year. We score 19 points in the fourth quarter, good things are going to happen.

“We’re feeling pretty good right now,” he said. “We’re getting better. That’s why you host tournaments, so you have home games and feel good to build confidence.”

The championship game against Ludlow was postponed due to weather.