Lady Highlanders shooting for 3-AA title
The No.1-seeded Gatlinburg-Pittman Lady Highlanders will shoot for their first district title since making the move to District 3-AA at 7:30 tonight when they host the No. 2-seeded Fulton Lady Falcons.
The Lady Highlanders (23-6), who secured the finals spot against Fulton (18-5) Saturday with a 68-48 victory over Austin-East, swept the Lady Falcons in the regular season, despite Fulton’s perennial top spots in the state’s rankings by the Associated Press
“I think it will be a very good game,” G-P coach Katie Parton said Saturday. “We’re evenly matched teams, and it will all depend on rebounds and free throws. It will all come down to the fundamentals.”
The Lady Highlanders won the teams’ first matchup 65-62 at G-P on Dec. 14. The teams’ most recent contest, played at Fulton on Feb. 1, wasn’t as close, 67-59.
But Fulton, led by Jayda Johnson, Moneisha Thomas, Victoria GriffinThomas and Tyanna Castle, is a formidible opponent that ran over the rest of District 3-AA. In fact, when not playing Gatlinburg-Pittman, the Lady Falcons were unbeaten in league play, winning by an average of 28 points per contest.
Of course, G-P has its own firepower.
Division-1 signee Karsen Sims (Coastal Carolina) is a do-everything player on the court. She can score, rebound, pass and defend and brings a competitive spirit to the floor that rallies her teammates. Sophomore point guard Haris Price and sophomore post Dannie Luczak are also primed to lead the Highlanders’ offensive attack at any time, as both have led the team in scoring in big games this season.
Many of G-P’s other players — Micki Werner, Hunter Price, Bethany Sutton and Alicia Sumeriski included — can provide highlights for the Lady Highlanders as well.
The championship game is slated for 7:30 p.m., following the girls consolation game which features Austin-East and Pigeon Forge (17-9). That contest tips off at 6 p.m.
Winner of the District 3-AA championship will earn the a top seed in the Region 2-AA tournament.