The Lady Dog basketball team ended their season last Thursday night, Feb. 2, in the second round of the district tournament. Suwannee lost to second seed Santa Fe 49-61. The third seeded Lady Dogs made it to the semi-final round by soundly defeating sixth-seed Middleburg 56-31. The Lady Dogs were once again led by their top player Cheretta Ross with 21 points and starting guard Lisa Cuyler with 14 points against Middleburg.

During the regular season, Santa Fe had defeated Suwannee both times by an average of 24 points. Going into the game the players and coaches knew it would be a tough game.

The first quarter was all Santa Fe, up 15-9. Suwannee was able to keep it fairly close with a 1-3-1 match-up zone defense. Cuyler, Laronda Butler and Ross were the only Lady Dogs to score in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Suwannee asserted themselves and outscored Santa Fe 16-14 with great hustle plays and shooting. Ross and Cuyler each hit a three-basket during the stretch. At half-time the Lady Dogs trailed by only four points 25-29.

Coach Kaffa Owens and Coach Phillip Petway said they didn’t have much to say to the team at half-time. Instead they asked Ross to speak to the team and get them fired up for the second half. The team responded and the Lady Dogs outscored the Lady Raiders 9-3 in the third quarter. The score was tied at 34 going into the final period of play.

The day before the game Coach Petway had given the team a scouting report and the keys to victory. One of the categories mentioned by Petway was bench play. Santa Fe had the deeper bench with experienced players. And the fourth quarter told the story as Santa Fe rotated those bench players in and out of the game while Suwannee faded and got tired legs. Santa Fe went on a 24-15 run in the fourth to defeat Suwannee 61-49.

Three times during one stretch in the fourth, the Lady Dogs had the chance to take the lead for the first time in the game, but missed lay-ups in traffic.

In spite of the loss, this was the best game of the season for the lady Dogs according to Coach Petway. Suwannee played a great game against Santa Fe for the chance to advance to the district championship playoffs.

Ross, playing her last game as a Lady Dog, had game-high 17 points with two three-pointers, 12 rebounds, five assists, six blocked shots and two steals. Cuyler had 13 points, three assists. Butler had four points. Jasmine Jefferson had 11 points and four rebounds.

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