Silver Bluff's title run falls short

TIMBERLAND 59, SILVER BLUFF 52

CHARLESTON, S.C. --- The Timberland Lady Wolves are heading for Columbia.

Buoyed by a 12-0 first-half run and Rateska Brown's 26 points, the Lady Wolves made it stand to win the Class AA Lower State championship 59-52 over previously undefeated Silver Bluff (21-1).

After a slow first-quarter start, Brown got hot, scoring 11 points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer coming off a steal.

The 3-pointer was the beginning of a 12-0 Timberland run that carried four minutes into the second quarter and put the Lady Wolves (24-2) up by 11.

"We were a little nervous in the first quarter and it showed," said Lady Wolves coach Cleve Touchberry, who last took a Timberland team to Columbia during the 2004-05 season.

The Lady Wolves will meet the winner of the Columbia- Keenan game for the Class AA State Championship on Saturday.

In addition to Brown's 26 points the Lady Wolves got big inside production from Nakeisha Whitaker, who scored 10 points in the paint with several big blocks coming down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

"Rateska shows up for work every day," Touchberry said. "She's been doing that all year long, and Whitaker made some huge plays down the stretch, a couple big shots and some big defensive stops inside."

Tina Houseworth added 10 points, including the Lady Wolves' first points, a left wing 3-pointer after Silver Bluff jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead.

Jamie Foreman led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points. Taylor Muterspaugh added 13 and Kaylin Foreman had 11.

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