The eighth grade girls’ basketball team of Gillespie Middle School (24-4) finished their post-season run in the Class 3A State Tournament last Thursday by falling 31-36 to Germantown Hills (24-2) in overtime.
It was the second time in the state tournament that the ladies lost in overtime. The Indians wound up in the third place game by falling 44-46 to Havana in overtime on Saturday, December 17, and ended up finishing their season with an overtime loss to Germantown in the team’s last game of the season.
Despite losing two close games, this year’s eighth grade girls team proves to be one of the most successful teams in the area as they will transition into high school next spring. The team has two state finishes in two years under the direction of Kevin Gray and Christina Blevins – second in state their seventh grade year and fourth in state this year.
Gillespie started off slow against Germantown Hills scoring only one basket in the first quarter – a field goal by Shelby Taylor. Things got more heated in the second quarter as the Indians recorded their highest scoring quarter with Mikala Hayes, Shelby Taylor and Mataya Beavin each scoring two field goals in the quarter, but Gillespie still trailed by three at halftime – 14-17.
The second half was an evenly matched performance after the Indians outscored Germantown Hills 10-7 in the third quarter to knot the game at 24. Both teams scored six points in the fourth quarter sending the game into overtime where Germantown outpaced the Indians six points to one to take the third place game.
Sydney Bires and Keaton Link carried the team through the second half as the duo scored 14 of the Indians’ 17 points. Bires scored all of her eight points in the second half, six points off of field goals and two points from the free through line, while Link knocked down three field goals for six points.
Bires led the team’s scoring with eight points while Link and Taylor each followed with six points. The Indians made three of eight free throw attempts.
Springfield St. Agnes (26-0), who the Indians lost to in the 2015 State Championship, ended the year undefeated by winning this year’s state championship with a 34-31 victory over Havana (26-1).