FARMINGTON — Friday evening began Harrison’s journey in its second-straight visit to the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament. The trip was short-lived.
The Lady Goblins (27-4) were paired against the Lady Bruins of Pulaski Academy (27-3) in the quarterfinals.
Friday’s game marked the second year that the Lady Goblins had arrived to the state tournament with a bye past the first round.
Harrison earned a No. 2 seed from the North Region after a loss in the Class 4A North Region finals to Farmington.
The Lady Bruins came in as the No. 3 seed from the East Region and fresh off a 70-36 stomping of Nashville in the opening round of the state tourney.
In a game plagued by turnovers, the Lady Goblins went scoreless in the final 2:37 of the contest against the Lady Bruins and suffered a 49-44 defeat to end the season with a 27-5 record.
“It was a game of runs,” Harrison head coach Doug Young commented. “We didn’t shoot as well as we normally do. But when you’re playing at this time of the year, it’s going to be a back and forth slugfest battling for a state title.”
The eighth lead change of the game occurred at the end of the third period when PA drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 34-31 lead entering the final quarter.
Harrison guard Sydney Shrum drove to the basket for a score and one to open the fourth by tying the game at 34 apiece.
Caroline Cecil then gave the Lady Goblins a 36-34 edge with a pair of free throws.
PA responded with back-to-back baskets to take the lead back.
The next possession resulted in Brynn Oleson tying the game at 38 with a score in the paint following an offensive rebound.
The Lady Bruins answered with a shot of their own.
The next six points came from Harrison beginning with Shrum scoring on a drive to the basket. Marion Groberg then pulled down a rebound on defense and the outlet pass went to Mariah Hudson who went the length of the court of a layup. Hudson ended the short run with a pair of charity shots to give Harrison a 44-40 lead with 2:37 remaining.
The offense went cold the rest of the way for the Lady Goblins.
PA then scored nine unanswered points to end the season for Harrison.
Oleson and Kenzie Parker combined for the first eight points of the game for Harrison followed by Cecil assisting to Groberg in the paint.
The Lady Bruins hit back-to-back treys in the closing minute to hold a 12-10 lead at the first break.
Shrum added the first Harrison score of the second period followed by a layup and a 3 at the top of the key by Oleson to give the Lady Goblins a 17-14 advantage.
Parker added a free throw before Maggie Salmon sank a long shot from the left corner to make it a 21-17 score with 2 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Lady Bruins ended the second with a 6-0 run to take a 23-21 lead into halftime.
PA struck first in the third with five unanswered points before the Lady Goblins found their offense again.
A free throw from Oleson sparked a 10-2 run. Shrum assisted to Cecil for a short shot before Groberg hit a jumper on the left baseline. Parker added a three-point play after a steal on defense and Groberg hit her second jumper of the quarter to end the run before PA’s 3 at the buzzer to end the third period.
“I was really proud of the way they fought and competed all year long,” Young noted about the Lady Goblins. “They handled every situation they had thrown at them. They were very steady, they played well together and played with a purpose and a lot of confidence.”
The Harrison coach had a final message for his team after the game.
“I emphasized how proud I was of them and for them taking me on this run,” Young expressed. “It was an awesome experience.”
Olesen scored 12 points for Harrison in the final game of the season for Harrison. Parker tallied eight points, Shrum seven, Groberg six, Cecil and Hudson four apiece and Salmon three.