Coming in to Tuesday night’s game, Freedom had beaten the Lady Warriors all three times they had met this season, and the regional semifinal was no different.
The Warriors came out fast, with an 11-6 first quarter lead, but their shooting had not come with them to the gym. Right before halftime, Freedom had reclaimed the lead 23-22, and they didn’t look back. The Patriots won going away by 17, 60-43.
Justice Thigpen was the only Warrior in double figures with 10 points (4-9 shooting), all-time scoring leader Baylee Hooker only scored eight points (2-7) but grabbed eight rebounds. Thigpen’s sister Taylor also score eight points (3-8). The Patriot defense shut down the Warriors number one post presence Rachel Briere, who had two points (1-4) and six rebounds.
“We fought hard, we left it all on the court. Factors that we couldn’t control didn’t go our way,” said Hooker. “It would’ve been nice to put (Freedom) out this last time…we gave them a fight every time we played them and we never backed down.”
The Warriors will be losing a lot of seniors moving into next season;
Baylee Hooker, Forward (15.0 PPG and 5.0 RPG)
Justice Thigpen, Point Guard (5.7 APG and 2.9 SPG)
Lauren Shedd, Power Forward/Center (5.9 PPG and 4.9 RPG)
Jessica Weatherman, Center (2.6 PPG and 2.2 RPG)
Lauren Stemm, Small Forward (1.8 PPG and 1.0 SPG)
Alexandra Fernandez, Guard (1.7 PPG and 0.9 RPG)
Shannon Perez, Guard (0.8 PPG and 1.0 RPG)
Zealand Shannon / Sports Editor