Lady Dawgs fall to Clements in Final Four
Published 10:52 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023
The Pike County Lady Bulldogs (27-7) saw their dream season come to a frustrating conclusion on Feb. 28 with a 56-25 loss to the Clements Lady Colts (24-8) in the Class 3A Girls Basketball State Semifinals from Legacy Arena in Birmingham.
Coming into the Final Four, only one team had scored more than 23 points against the Lady Dawgs during postseason play and teams were averaging just 20.4 points per game against the PCHS defense. Clements scored 20 points in the first quarter alone and held a 36-11 lead at halftime.
The Lady Dawgs struggled to score – shooting just 26.3 percent from the field – and turned the ball over 21 times in the first half, while Clements shot 50 percent from the field and turned the ball over just eight times. While Pike County managed to outrebound Clements 16-14 in the half, the Lady Colts still outscored the Lady Dawgs 22-10 in the paint.
Midway through the third quarter, Clements had stretched its lead to 42-12. Pike County’s Amity White knocked down a three-pointer as time expired in the third quarter, but the Lady Colts still led 44-17. Clements outscored Pike County 12-8 in the fourth quarter, as well.
For the game, Pike County shot just 20 percent from the field, while Clements shot 52.1 percent and forced 29 Lady Dawg turnovers. Clements also scored 35 points off those turnovers.
“They’re a very good team, hats off to Clements and congrats to them,” PCHS coach Melissa White said. “They’re a very good program, that’s well coached. Their ball movement is very good and their offense was giving us some trouble, trying to stop their shooters. I didn’t think we played our best game.
“It was a big stage and it was something we’ve never been to and I think we were a little slow coming out of the gate.”
Amity White led PCHS in the loss with 15 points, seven rebounds and two steals, while Taniyah Green added five points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Clements was led by Taylor Farrar with 12 points and five assists.
Despite the frustrating end to the season, Melissa White praised her team and the program.
“I’m so grateful for Pike County High School basketball and our program to be here,” she said. “This is the first time ever that the Pike County Lady Dawgs have made it to the Final Four to contend and compete here.
“I’m super proud of our community, our superintendent and our staff for allowing for this opportunity. The girls put in a lot of hard work from the beginning of the summer, and we worked our way through adversity and the ups and downs throughout the season. So, having us show up right here playing with heart and competing this season to the very end, I’m tremendously proud. I’m proud to be their coach and for our young people, we’re determined to come back again.”
Green said that she hoped the 2022-2023 Lady Dawgs will inspire future players.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to be the first ones to make it to the Final Four,” she continued. Nobody has ever done it before and I just want to tell the ones coming after us that they can do it, too.
“They can do it what we did, you just have to put in the hard work and listen to what coach says and they can here, too.”
Amity White reiterated Green’s sentiment on impacting future Lady Dawgs.
“It means a lot to us to be the ones to impact our girls program like this,” she said. “Not even just for basketball, it means getting all the girls at our school more interested in sports.
“We have a lot of girl athletes at our school, that just don’t play (any sports). Now, seeing how far we’ve come and how much we came together as a team, I know it encourages the other girls to get into sports and it will just make our program even better”