The Transylvania Times -

By Jeremiah Reed
Sports Editor 

Lady Tigers Fall In Wells Fargo Championship – Rosman NC

 

A basket from Alicia Lewis gave Rosman a second half lead but the Wolverines rallied to take the Wells Fargo championship by a final score of 49-40. (Times photos by Jeremiah Reed)

In a game where nothing seemed to go their way the Rosman Lady Tigers dropped their first contest of the season last Wednesday to Polk County in the Wells Fargo Classic championship.

Rosman looked to be in their usual form after taking a 5-0 lead in the first quarter behind a Callie Chappell layup and three free throws from Rachel Owen.

However, Polk County rattled off seven straight points to take the lead and later extended their advantage to 12-7 by the end of the first.

Rosman's offense has been driven by fast-break opportunities all year but the Lady Tigers looked to play a little too fast for their own good at times, committing turnovers that led to quick Wolverine buckets.

Rosman mounted a comeback in the second quarter after baskets from Chappell and Allie Whitmire cut the Wolverines' lead to one.

A Chappell free throw with five minutes to play in the half gave the Lady Tigers a 15-14 lead as the team settled into their offensive sets.

Chappell was forced to sit out most of the second quarter with foul trouble and the Rosman offense sputtered down the stretch.

Polk County scored six points in under a minute to take a 22-16 lead with two minutes to play and maintained that scoreline as the teams headed into the locker room.

The Lady Tigers weren't very proficient from the floor in the opening half and shot just 6-13 from the free throw line, with several misses coming on the front end of 1-and-1 opportunities.

Once again Rosman looked to be charging back into the game coming out of the break as buckets from Owen and Whitmire cut the Wolverine lead to 25-21.

Chappell picked up her fourth foul of the game and returned to the bench moments later.

Unlike the second quarter, the Lady Tigers were able to rally without their leading scorer as Whitmire converted a layup and free throw to get Rosman within one point.

A fast-break bucket from Alicia Lewis gave Rosman a 26-25 lead.

However, Polk County's Hayley Cropp responded with a basket on the other end ­– two of her 28 points on the night – to put the Wolverines back ahead 27-26 headed into the final period.

With Chappell still on the bench, the Lady Tigers couldn't find any offensive rhythm to start the fourth quarter and missed several open looks at the basket which allowed Polk County to build a 35-30 lead with 4:30 to play.

Freshman Gracy Briggs buried a three pointer a minute later to get Rosman within four points, 37-33. But the Wolverines seemed to have an answer for every Rosman charge as they scored on the opposite end to maintain their two-possession lead.

After checking back into the game, Chappell made history by scoring her 1,000th career point on a layup that cut Polk's lead to 39-36.

However, the Wolverines simply wouldn't be denied as they continued to come up with plays at key moments.

A jumper from Owen made the score 41-38 with just under two minutes to play but Polk responded yet again with a basket.

Allie Whitmire fights through a foul to score a layup in the third quarter of Rosman's game against Polk County last Wednesday.

With the score 45-39 and just over a minute to play, Chappell fouled out of the game and the Lady Tigers were unable to mount a late rally.

Polk converted on several trips to the free throw line in the closing seconds to take the game by a final score of 49-40.

Chappell led Rosman in scoring despite limited minutes with 11 points. Whitmire and Owen had eight points each, while Briggs finished with six points.

Both Chappell and Owen were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts.

The loss was the first blemish on the Lady Tigers' record this season and gave them a 6-1 mark.

Rosman returns to the court Tuesday with a road trip to Andrews (5-3) before hosting Cherokee (8-3) on Friday.

 
 

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