Lady Wildcats earn historic win

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
THARPTOWN – With just less than one minute gone by in Tuesday night's season-opener against Paint Rock Valley, Tharptown's Hollie Hines pulled up on a fast break and drained a simple 14-foot jumpshot that was anything but ordinary.
It was the first basket in the history of varsity girls basketball at Tharptown High School.
There would be plenty more offensive highlights the rest of the night as the Lady Wildcats shot their way to a 76-43 rout of the visiting Lady Pirates in the new high school's inaugural game at the varsity level.
"We shot the ball pretty well tonight," Tharptown coach Chad Green said. "These girls had a really good record last year as a junior team, and now it's just a matter of making the adjustments to the varsity level. If I had to give our team a grade tonight, I'd give us a B-minus. We scored some points, but we were a little sloppy at times and we have a lot of work to do defensively. We have a lot of room for improvement."
Jessica Myrick finished with 25 points to lead Tharptown (1-0), and Hines added 22. Laken Barnett had 13 points, including three three-pointers.
Many of Myrick's points came on offensive rebounds.
"Jess did a great job on the boards for us tonight," Green said. "She also had several good post moves down low."
Hines' historic basket sparked a 10-0 run to open the game as the Lady Wildcats took control early.
"We turned the ball over on our first couple of trips, which you kind of expect to happen in your first game," Green said. "After that, we settled down. Getting out to that 10-0 lead was big because it kind of calmed everybody down a little bit. The thing you have to watch out for with a big early lead is you don't want to get too relaxed."
The Lady Wildcats kept up their intensity throughout the game, scoring at least 17 points in each quarter. Hines had 11 points in the first quarter as Tharptown built a 21-11 lead, and a three by Barnett early in the second quarter triggered another 10-0 run.
Myrick sandwiched a pair of baskets around a three-pointer by Chelsey McCluskey as the lead grew to 35-15 with 2:40 left in the first half.
The Lady Wildcats led 40-23 at the half, and Myrick had 13 points in the third quarter as the lead grew to 59-34 heading into the fourth.
Chelsey McCluskey finished with seven points for Tharptown, and Lindsey McCluskey added five. Autumn Hatton had four.
Paint Rock finished the night 16-of-23 from the foul line as the Lady Wildcats struggled to stay out of foul trouble.
"These girls have played mostly zone defense in the past, so it's going to take some time to get used to playing man-to-man," Green said.
Tharptown was scheduled to play county rival Belgreen on Thursday.

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