By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
WALNUT – Morgan Burroughs drained 72 3-pointers for Walnut during the regular season. Tuesday, the junior guard kept the long- range shots falling in the opening round of the Division 2-2A Tournament to help the Lady Wildcats beat Hickory Flat 37-27.
The Lady Wildcats (6-21) advance to face No. 1 seed, Potts Camp on Thursday at 7 pm.
Burroughs sank three 3-pointers in the first half to give Walnut a 19-11 halftime lead. She scored 15 of her 25 points before the break.
“She’s our glue,” said first year Walnut coach Richard Byrd. “She handles the ball for us, she scores for us, she’s our best defensive player. When we need her, she steps up.”
Burroughs was held scoreless throughout the third quarter, but saved a big shot for the final seconds.
She connected on her fourth 3-pointer of the game, a contested shot by Hickory Flat’s Amber Thompson, and Walnut led 24-17. Burroughs gazed at Thompson as she backed away.
“She kept grabbing my jersey while I was dribbling,” said Burroughs, who leads Walnut with 13.3 points per game. “I said, ‘If you touch me again,’ she said ‘What are you going to do about it?,’ and that’s when I hit the 3-pointer.”
Hickory Flat closed to within 27-24 on Kaitlyn Wilson’s third 3-pointer of the game with 4:11 remaining. Walnut allowed just three more points and drained eight free throws down the stretch to hold them at bay.
Hickory Flat coach Alicia Pickens said her team just couldn’t score the way they did in a 63-35 win over Walnut during the regular season. They made just five of 46 shots from the floor, Tuesday.
“We shot the ball well last time,” said Pickens. “We did a great job of holding on to the ball, a great job of blocking out, we adjusted to their shooters at halftime and didn’t give up many shots in the second half, but we just didn’t finish.”
Brianna Reeves and Kaitlyn Wilson had 10 points each for Hickory Flat (13-14).