By: Jim Steele
McKenzie will play for the District 11A girls' basketball championship Friday night and will get to host a Region 5A quarterfinal game as a result of its 55-40 victory over Clarksburg in the 11A semifinals Monday.
The game was played at Bethel University's Crisp Arena. McKenzie will battle district top seed Huntingdon 7:30 Friday night for the 11A championship.
McKenzie hit six triples in the first half, led by an eight-point effort off the bench by Whitley Smith. The Lady Rebels surged to a 16-4 lead in the first frame and was never threatened. Smith hit her first triple with under three minutes to play, then flushed another three a minute later. In an eyeblink, she put back a missed shot. Her personal 8-0 run gave McKenzie the first-frame advantage.
Shelby Butler buried a three to start the second and the rout was on, for the moment. Sarah Derryberry and Brooklyn Williams rang the bell for Clarksburg to cut the lead to 11, but McKenzie pushed the margin to 15 at the break.
The Lady Rockets hit a spark in the third. Derryberry drilled a three, followed by Krista Noble's hoop and Clarksburg had cut the lead to 12 with a chance to cut it to 10. Enter Butler, who promply delivered a trio of triples for a 36-14 advantage. When the horn sounded. MHS led 44-23.
In the final frame, McKenzie basically played keep-away en route to the victory. Williams led the Lady Rockets with 13 while Derryberry tossed in 10. Butler and Smith each had 15 to lead the Lady Rebels. Butler cashed in on five triples while Smith deposited three threes. McKenzie hit nine threes on the night.