Vina pulls away late against Lady Wildcats

By Staff
BELGREEN – The Tharptown ninth-grade girls team rallied several times, but a pair of late free throws from Vina's Jessica Pickle gave the Lady Red Devils a 31-27 victory during the opening round of the Franklin County Junior High Basketball Tournament.
Vina led 6-3 at the end of the first quarter and pushed its lead to 10-5 in the second before Tharptown rallied to take an 11-10 lead. The Lady Red Devils hit four free throws late in the quarter to build a 14-11 advantage heading into halftime.
Neither team could build a sizable lead in the third and the teams entered the final quarter of play tied 22-22.
With Vina leading 27-24, Tharptown's Rachel Garrison scored to pull the Lady Wildcats within one point. Vina's Shelby Boyd scored moments later to push the Lady Red Devils' lead back to three points.
Garrison shot a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining, but only hit one of the shots to pull the Lady Wildcats within two points at 29-27. Pickle scored her game-clinching free throws with 4.5 seconds to play.
With the win the Lady Red Devils advance to the semifinals to play top-ranked Red Bay Saturday at 4 p.m. at Belgreen High School.
Miranda Howard led Vina with 13 points while Boyd added eight points. Also scoring for the Lady Red Devils were Fallyn Shotts (3), Caitlin Benstien (3), Alex Miller (2) and Pickle (2).
Garrison scored a game-high 15 points to lead Tharptown while Danielle Creasy added seven points, Allie Chaffin scored three points and Erica Valdez scored two points.

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