Holiday hardware

By Staff
Belgreen girls defeat Fayette County 43-31
Kim West
Franklin County Times
FAYETTE – Belgreen started the game with a hot hand from long distance and then spent a large chunk of the final quarter shooting free throws as the Lady Bulldogs captured the school's second Fayette Lions Club Tournament championship and first since 2000 with a 43-31 win over Fayette County Friday night.
"We've done pretty well here at the tournament with our 3-point shooting, and we had some players with somegood shooting nights," said Belgreen coach Shauna Humphries. "I couldn't ask for better shooters, and I'm fortunate we do have some depth – I've been happy with the lineup we've been using the past couple of games."
A jumper by Fayette County's Lauren Fulmer gave the Tigers a temporary early lead, but Belgreen answered with consecutive 3-pointers by Martha Billingham and a putback by Monica Smith during the Lady Bulldogs' 11-0 run.
Monica Smith drilled a 3-pointer and made a short jump shot, while Kellie Oliver added a trey during a 8-3 run to open the second quarter.
Belgreen (13-4, 4-0) didn't allow the Lady Tigers to make a field goal in the second period until Teka Baker hit a short jumper with only two minutes left until halftime.
Baker trimmed Belgreen's lead to five points twice in the third quarter, but Amber Smith knocked down three free throws and Deborah Billingham hit two driving jumpers to give the Lady Bulldogs an 11-point advantage heading into the final quarter.
Belgreen led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter after Amber Smith hit two more free throws and a jump shot, and Candice Allen sank a long jumper.
Belgreen went to the line 16 times in the final period, and Amber Smith finished 6-of-9 from the line during the quarter to help seal the win.
Tournament MVP Martha Billingham had a team-high 12 points, while Amber Smith, who was also named All-Tournament, finished with 11. Deborah Billingham added eight points, and Monica Smith and Kellie Oliver each scored five.
"Monica's had a great tournament, and so have Martha, Amber and Deborah," Humphries said. "I'm really proud of Monica because we needed someone to step up on the post, and I trust that she's going to take enough time to score."
Baker led Fayette County with a game-high 18 points, while Fulmer had six.
Belgreen's next challenge is beating region rival Shoals Christian Jan. 4 at home and Jan. 8 on the road. The Lady Bullodgs will host Vina for homecoming Jan. 11 and then play in the Franklin County Tournament Jan. 15-19.
"We look to learn from every game, and even though we would love to win the county tournament, we're focused on winning our area games against Shoals Christian and being the best team we can be," said Humphries.

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