Loretto subdues McKenzie in 6A semifinals

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McKenzie’s magical, historic season came to an abrupt halt against Loretto in the Region 6A semifinals last week.

The visiting Lady Mustangs defeated No. 3-ranked McKenzie 66-54, ending the hosting Lady Rebels’ season with a school-best 26-2 record.

Loretto’s Kensey Weathers had 23 second-half points and paced her team to the victory and substate berth. She was a one-player wrecking ball in the third quarter, scoring 14 points. The Lady Rebels had no answers. She finished with 25 points.

Meanwhile, McKenzie senior Lilly Bennett went out with a bang, scoring 22 points to lead the Lady Rebels. Savannah Davis had 19 and Kylie Reynolds had 11 for McKenzie. Past that, there really wasn’t much in the way of production for the Lady Rebels. Briley Auvenshine tossed in two for McKenzie and that was it.

Karly Weathers had 18 for Loretto. Nobody else had double figures for the Mustang girls. Autumn Buttrum had nine and Julie Clifton eight.

Loretto opened with a 14-11 lead and meticulously expanded its margin as the game went on. It led 22-17 at the half and 45-37 after three quarters.

McKenzie loses three seniors, Bennett, Anna Callahan and Savannah Nesbett, but returns a solid nucleus next season.

Loretto, 18-7, lost 60-56 to Summertown in the 6A championship, but defeated host Houston County in substate, 60-32. Loretto will battle Cloudland in the Class A girls’ state quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday morning at Middle Tennessee State Univeristy in Murfreesboro.

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