The John Paul II girls saw their season end Friday in the first round of the SCISA 2A state tournament after their second-half rally fell short in a 43-33 loss to Lee Academy at Wilson Hall in Sumter.
Maddie Heathcott led the charge for JPII with 14 points and nine rebounds, keeping the Golden Warriors in it with her non-stop tenacity and hustle, but they couldn’t execute well enough to finish off a second-half rally.
The Golden Warriors fell behind early, struggling to get much going on offense in the opening quarter as Lee opened a 12-6 lead. JPII kept the margin at six points going into halftime and trimmed it in half by the end of the third quarter, but the Cavaliers outscored the Warriors 12-5 in the final period to seal the win.
“I really feel like we should have won,” JPII coach Karen Floyd said. “The girls played hard as always, but we had trouble doing a lot of the little things that helped us find success recently — free throws, put-backs, limiting unforced turnovers.”
Seniors Taylor Michael and Bella Termini performed well in their final appearance for JPII, as Michael scored eight points to go with four rebounds and two steals, and Termini added five points, six boards, and two steals.
“Our two seniors, Bella Termini and Taylor Michael, have meant the world to this team, and we owe so much of our improvement to them,” Floyd said. “Our younger players have been troupers all season and have grown tremendously. The future is bright.”