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Lady Rebels, Rebels advance to 6A semifinals 

UNDERHAND HOOK – McKenzie’s Marquez Taylor goes for the underhand hook during the Rebels first-round regional win over Frank Hughes. Photos by Ron Park.

The top-ranked McKenzie Lady Rebel basketball team took a big halftime lead and cruised to a 67-31 Region 6A quarterfinal victory over visiting Clarksburg Friday night.

Saturday night, McKenzie’s boys dispatched visiting Frank Hughes High School 60-37.

The Lady Rebels sprinted to a 14-1 lead early on the first, held off a run by Clarksburg late in the quarter and crafted a 21-9 advantage by the buzzer. MHS extended its cushion to 35, 49-14, by intermission, which forced a running clock in the final two periods. 

While it may not have been McKenzie’s most crisp performance of the year, its pressure defense and multiplex scoring proved to be the difference.

The Lady Rebels raced to a 14-1 lead, thanks to production from Kylie and Mikaela Reynolds and Briley Auvenshine. Clarksburg rallied for an 8-0 run on the backs of Kyleigh Scott, Gracie Bartholomew and Samantha Seagraves. The Lady Rockets would get no closer. MHS’s lead was five, 14-9.

From there, the Lady Rebels embarked on a 24-3 burst to lead 38-12. Clarksburg ‘s Cassie Blount and McKenzie’s Auvenshine traded threes during the surge, but McKenzie turned up the heat.

Savannah Davis scored 14 first-half points. She and the remaining Lady Rebs had a seat in the second half so the reserves could play. And they added to the effort. Mikaela Reynolds had 13 halftime points while Kylie Reynolds finished with 10.

Scott led the Lady Rockets with 14.

Clarksburg ends its season at 6-18. McKenzie,  25-2, advances to the semifinals and faced McEwen at West Carroll Monday. The winner of that game will earn a substate berth.

In the nightcap, McKenzie’s boys were held scoreless in the fourth quarter. It didn’t matter, they had accumulated their 60 points in the first three quarters to win 60-37.

As a result, the Rebels advanced to the 6A semis at 6 p.m. Tuesday night versus Perry County at West Carroll. Should the Rebels prevail in that game, they, too, will earn a substate bid.

McKenzie  streaked to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter, led by 17 combined points from Marquez Taylor and Bryson Steele. The Rebels had as many points in the opening stanza as Frank Hughes would have in the first half.

By the break, the Rebels led 37-20 and clamped down defensively in the third. McKenzie limited the Lions to a scant three points. Meantime, Steele went to work from the free throw line while Tate Surber and Etijay Tharpe buried threes. The Rebels led 60-25 at that point.

Hughes outpaced the Rebels 12-0 in the final frame, but the damage had been done. Hayden Kiddy led the Lions, who fell to 13-17, with 18 points, including a pair of triples.

Steele led the Rebels with 17, Taylor scored 13, Surber and Stafford Roditis each added nine. The Rebels improve to 18-8.

OUTSIDE SHOT – McKenzie’s Savannah Davis shoots from the outside during the Lady Rebels’ first-round regional win over the Clarksburg Lady Rockets.

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