Defense lifts Lady Bulldogs

By Staff
Mike Self, FCT Sports Editor
THARPTOWN – Belgreen's girls didn't earn many style points on Friday night at Tharptown, but they got what they came for-a win.
The Lady Bulldogs overcame a poor shooting night with aggressive defense and a solid effort at the free throw line, beating the Lady Wildcats 44-30.
Trailing 10-9 after one quarter, Belgreen (4-3) held Tharptown (5-3) to just eight points total over the next two quarters while opening up a 30-18 lead.
"Our girls did a good job on defense tonight, and we hustled well," Belgreen coach Shauna Humphries said. "We did a little bit better job rebounding, too. We had a rough night offensively. We really couldn't get anything going in the first half, but I thought it got better in the second half."
Both teams struggled from the field, but the Lady Bulldogs held a decisive edge at the foul line. Belgreen made 21-of-32 free throws on the night, compared to just 8-of-20 by Tharptown.
Kellie Oliver had seven points in the second quarter as the Lady Bulldogs went on an 11-4 run to take a 20-14 lead into halftime.
The Lady Wildcats continued to struggle in the third quarter as Belgreen out-scored them 10-4 to push the lead into double figures.
"We definitely wanted to put pressure on the ball tonight, and I thought we did a good job of that," Humphries said. "Whenever Hollie [Hines] drove into the lane, we did a good job of coming over with our help defense. We were able to frustrate them a little bit on the dribble."
Hines, Tharptown's leading scorer at better than 20 points per game, finished with a hard-earned 14 on Friday. Her three-point play midway through the fourth quarter cut Belgreen's lead to nine, but the Lady Bulldogs responded with a 9-2 run to put the game out of reach.
Mary Billingham and Deborah Billingham each finished with 12 points to lead Belgreen, and Oliver added 11.
The Lady Bulldogs will host Colbert Heights on Monday.
In other recent action:
Phil Campbell 56 Shoals Christian 41
Shelly Cooper had her second straight 20-point night on Thursday as the Lady Bobcats broke open a close game with a big second half to pull away from Shoals Christian in their home opener.
Chasity Morgan added 12 points and Jessica Taylor had 10 for Phil Campbell (4-4), which led by just two before out-scoring Shoals Christian 16-8 in the third quarter and 18-13 in the fourth.
MacKenzie Bishop led Shoals Christian (3-3) with 15 points, and Jessica Hartley added nine.