T.A. Dugger girls reach championship contest

from staff reports


   KINGSPORT -- A solid all-around team effort helped T.A. Dugger's seventh-grade girls basketball team survive another tough challenge from Indian Trail.
   The Lady Junior Cyclones defeated Indian Trail for the third time this season, earning a 42-39 decision at Ross N. Robinson's Gym in the semifinals of the Middle Seven Conference tournament on Monday night.
   T.A. Dugger, which improved to 16-1 on the season, advanced to Wednesday's championship game at 6:30 p.m. against Vance, which defeated Robinson in the other semifinal.
   Victoria Hopson led T.A. Dugger with 11 points, 14 rebounds and four steals, but she had plenty of help. Michaela Pietrowski, Courtney Towle and Brittany Smith each had six points while Marti Bush added five points and seven rebounds.
   Indian Trail -- which had lost by two points, 31-29, to T.A. Dugger two weeks ago -- got 19 points from Pree Gallahar and 10 each from Britani Fisher and Ashley Scott. Indian Trail led 29-28 heading into the fourth quarter and still led by two late in the game.
   But down the stretch, T.A. Dugger got a free throw from Bush, a bucket from Mikael Oliver and a steal and layup from Towle that made it 42-39 with less than a minute to play.
   The championship was originally scheduled for tonight, but was moved back a day because of a death in the family of a Vance coach.