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TAYLORSVILLE -- Anderson County captured its third consecutive 30th District Tournament championship with a 57-48 win over Collins Friday night at Spencer County High School.
The Lady Bearcats never trailed but were not assured of the win until freshman Destiny Stewart sank a pair of free throws with 36.4 seconds to play, giving Anderson a 55-46 advantage. Sophomore Danielle Watson also buried two crucial free throws that put Anderson up 51-43 with 1:31 to play.
Anderson staggered Collins with a 12-2 run to go up 22-11 with five minutes left in the first half, but the Titans rallied to within 25-23 at the half.
The Lady Bearcats, now 21-8, eased out to a 43-31 lead late in the third quarter and never let Collins get closer than six the rest of the way. All-tournament selection Sydney Brown scored seven points in the first six minutes of the second half as Collins had no answer for the 6-foot-1 junior. Brown finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Eriel McKee scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds for the Lady Bearcats and drew the assignment of slowing Collins star Aaliyah Wells. Wells finished with 13 points while guard Leeara Cardwell led Collins (15-14) with 16.
McKee, Stewart and Corrin Robinson were also named to the all-tournament team. Freshman Makenzie Cann swished a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter to become Anderson's all-time leader.
“Our kids responded very well when Collins made their run,” Anderson coach Tony Kays said. “Collins is very well-coached and is much improved over the first time we played them.”
Anderson won that one 56-49 on Jan. 15.
Anderson, which has now won 16 straight against district competition, will be going for its second consecutive Sweet 16 berth when the Eighth Region tournament opens at Gallatin County on Monday night.
The regional draw is on Saturday morning. Pairings will be online as soon as soon as The Anderson News receives them.
For a complete report of the 30th District Tournament, see the March 2 edition of The Anderson News.