Belgreen fends off THS
Franklin County Times
BELGREEN – Despite a valiant effort by Tharptown, Belgreen pulled off a home sweep Friday night.
The Belgreen varsity girls (3-0) used clutch defense and free throw shooting down the stretch to defeat the Lady Wildcats 71-65 in overtime.
Tharptown (1-2) broke Belgreen's full-court press and built a 13-point advantage in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs used a 16-2 run to lead 60-56 with less than two minutes remaining in the final quarter.
Tharptown's Hollie Hines, who finished with a game-high 24 points, responded with a driving layup and a putback, and Beth Lane hit a free throw to put the Wildcats ahead 61-60.
Belgreen's Monica Smith knocked down a free throw with 51 seconds left to tie the game at 61, and Deborah Billingham came up with a steal and fed Amy Smith inside, but her turnaound shot missed as regulation time expired.
In overtime and with the score tied at 65, Monica Smith scored four straight points and Candice Allen nailed two free thows with less than a minute left to seal victory for Belgreen.
Point guard Chelsea McCluskey scored 15 points for Tharptown.
Belgreen's five starters each scored at least nine points, including leading scorer Martha Billingham (18 points), Monica Smith (12), Deborah Billingham (10) and Amy Smith (10).
In the varsity boys game, Belgreen fought off a Tharptown rally to win 58-56 as Shane Fretwell scored a team-high 20 points, including four three-pointers in the third quarter and five overall.
Belgreen (2-1) led by 14 points with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats staged a late comeback as Jacob Parker drained a three-pointer off a Devin Lawson feed, and Joseph Parker stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made a lay-up to make it 57-56 Belgreen with 11 seconds remaining.
But the Bulldogs' Taylor Hester made a free throw to put Belgreen ahead 58-56 and Justin Graves' shot from just inside the arc missed at the buzzer.
Brent Newell had 15 points for Belgreen, while Jacob Parker scored a game-high 24 points and Joseph Parker had nine points off the bench for Tharptown (1-2).
Tharptown will play in the Thanksgiving Tournament at Hubbertville Monday and Tuesday, while Belgreen will play at Covenant Christian Tuesday beginning at 4:30 p.m.