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Lady Blazers fall short of Holiday Hoops win

The Lady Trailblazers of Daniel Boone were joined by seven other teams for the three-day Holiday Hoops tournament at Viking Hall.
Renewing for its16th year, the tournament tipped off on Dec. 19 and concluded on Dec. 21.
This year’s tournament field was composed of three Big 7 teams in Volunteer, Tennessee High and Daniel Boone as well as several teams outside of the area, including 2012 Virginia State Champion, Floyd County.
The Lady Blazers captured wins in their first two tournament contests before falling to Floyd County, 57-56 in the Dec. 21 championship game.
Boone opened play on Dec. 19 against Georgia’s South Atlanta with a stellar defensive effort that saw the Lady Blazers force 26 turnovers in a decisive 49-33 win.
The Blazers outscored South Atlanta 13-8 in the first quarter to grab early momentum in the contest
Despite frequent turnovers and only scoring nine points in the second, Boone was bailed out by their defense, allowing their opponents just eight points in the quarter, to take a six-point lead into halftime.
The struggles continued for the Blazer offense in the third quarter as they scored only nine points, yet maintained their previous six point lead by the quarter’s end, once again due to a tremendous defensive effort despite turning the ball over 26 times in the game.
In the final stanza, the Boone offense woke up as the Lady Blazers outscored South Atlanta over the final eight minutes 18-8 to capture the 16-point win.
Junior Taylor Carmichael and sophomore Jaclyn Jenkins led the Lady Blazers in scoring, as each finished with 15 points. Nine of Carmichael’s points came from behind the arc on a 3-of-5 shooting effort.
The win set the Lady Blazers up with a familiar foe in day two of the tournament, fellow Big 7 competitor, Volunteer.
Entering the contest, the Lady Falcons maintained an impressive 16-3 record overall and a 3-1 conference mark, good enough for second in the Big 7.
Despite being seen by many as an underdog in the contest, the Lady Blazers once again utilized a tremendous defensive effort to hold Volunteer to just 46 points in the game and capture their best victory of the season, 60-46.
After two consecutive wins, the Lady Blazers were just one more away from capturing the tournament crown.
Despite another tremendous effort on Saturday, the Lady Blazers fell just a point shy of claiming the Holiday Hoops Championship in a 57-56 defeat by Floyd County.
While Boone was just narrowly denied the tournament championship, throughout the tournament’s three games, the Lady Blazers elevated their play, putting together their best stretch of the season.
They will continue tournament play this week in the Johnson City Honda Classic beginning on Dec. 26 and lasting through Dec. 30.