Grainger 64, Maplewood 37: Grainger reaches semifinals for first time since 2015

Aaron Torres
Knoxville News Sentinel

MURFREESBORO — After two straight years of getting bounced in the quarterfinals of the Class AA girls state tournament, Grainger shot its way past Maplewood and into the semifinals. 

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The Lady Grizzlies defeated Maplewood 64-37 in the quarterfinals Wednesday at Murphy Center. The Lady Grizzlies were led by forward Lauren Longmire, who scored a team-high 16 points, along with five rebounds. Maplewood was led by Renata Watson, who scored 15 points. 

Grainger (34-3) will face Westview (28-1) Friday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) in the semifinals. 

The Lady Grizzlies started off shooting hot from the field, blitzing Maplewood in the first quarter, jumping out to an 11-2 lead. Grainger then led 14-6 at the end of the first quarter. 

Grainger's hot shooting continued in the second quarter, led by Sydnie Hayes, who scored 14 points in the first half and shot 4-of-4 from 3-point range. Hayes finished with 16 points. The Lady Grizzlies took a 36-20 halftime lead. 

Maplewood, however, bounced back in the third quarter, cutting Grainger's lead to single digits a few times, including eight points late in the third quarter. But Grainger didn't panic. And Maplewood didn't get any closer after that.

Grainger outscored Maplewood 17-3 in the fourth quarter to ensure a comfortable victory.