The Lady Wildcats had beaten Ridgeland on Wednesday but were defeated by Heritage, Catoosa in Friday night’s semifinal game.
The Lady Wildcats took control of their matchup with Excel early, outscoring the Lady Eagles 13-2 in the first quarter and then stretching their lead to 28-8 at the break.
Woodland continued to dominate the contest in the third quarter, outscoring Excel 18-11 to go up 46-19.
However, Excel fought back in the final quarter with a 16-8 run.
“Overall, we played pretty well in spurts,” head coach Kyle Morgan said. “We gave everyone an opportunity to play and everyone that played contributed in a positive manner.”
Eric Harris, Excel head coach, said he was pleased with how hard his team played even after Woodland had gained the upper hand. He said the Lady Eagles had lost to Southeast Whitfield, 66-29, on Friday night and he had wanted to see more effort.
“I challenged the girls ... to play with more intensity,” Harris said. “The fourth quarter we picked it up. It was good, even though we were beaten. We didn’t lay down.”
Woodland’s Ayrianna Metcalf and Gabrielle Bradley both scored 10 points each to lead the Lady Wildcats offensively against Excel.
Andrea Taylor led the Lady Eagles with 12 points. She also grabbed five rebounds and was credited with five assists. Miriam Hibbard had 8 points and Bekah Bell dropped in 7.
Morgan cited his team’s defensive play, noting Brooke Hummel and Metcalf both drew charges for Woodland.
“That is one of the most selfless things they can do for their teammates, and it is one of the things we emphasize and encourage,” Morgan said.
Heritage 64, Woodland 59
Heritage used a strong fourth quarter to slip past Woodland, 64-59, in the quarterfinals of the Hoop Fest on Friday night.
Heritage had taken a 15-13 first-quarter lead and stretched it to 28-24 at the break.
The Lady Wildcats responded to the challenge by outscoring their opponent 18-14 in the third frame to forge a 42-42 tie.
Heritage closed the game with a 22-17 run.
“Our team played hard,” Morgan said. “To Heritage’s credit, they made free throws down the stretch. They are a well-coached team and do a good job.”
Three Lady Wildcats finished in double figures, Metcalf, 17; Aubri Branch, 16; and Katie Harris, 10. Marissa Dubose scored 8 points, led the team in rebounds and had six blocks. She also drew the team’s only charge.
Woodland is now 3-1 on the year and is poised to play region foes its next five games.
The Lady Wildcats begin that region play Tuesday, when they visit South Paulding.
Southeast Whitfield 66, Excel 29
Southeast defeated Excel handily Friday night, 66-29, to advance to the tournament’s finals. It also had defeated the Lady Eagles 37-28 on Tuesday night.
Taylor scored 11 points Tuesday and 12 points Friday night.
Lindsey Mauldin dropped 7 points on Southeast on Tuesday. Hibbard scored 7 points Tuesday and 8 points Friday. Bekah Bell brushed the nets for 7 points on Friday.