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Tharptown wins one, loses one

BEAR CREEK — The Tharptown Lady Wildcats left Bear Creek with a victory Friday night by defeating the Phillips She-Bears 61-27.

The Lady Wildcats all but ended the game in the opening minutes by putting 20 points on the scoreboard before Phillips got its first field goal.

By the end of the first quarter Tharptown had a 20-3 lead that it would never relinquish, and Phillips would never close the gap to less than 12 points.

“In the first and third quarters we did well on defense,” Tharptown head coach Chad Green said. “We relaxed a bit in the second and fourth. We played well for four quarters, and I believe the girls have improved already.”

Phillips outscored Tharptown 16-15 in the second period, but such a small margin would not get the team back into the mix.

The Lady Wildcats closed the match strong by outscoring their opponent 26-8 after halftime.

‘This is a big win for us in the area,” Green said. “We are trying to host the area this year, and this is the first step.”

Kamri Sears led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 18 points on the night. Kassy Bakler added 10 points and Erica Valdez and Kathy Altaro had 8 each. Also scoring for Tharptown were: Jessica Wilson (7), Danielle Creasy (4), Savannah Robinson (4) and Haley Malone (2).

While the Tharptown varsity boys lost by 16 points at 84-68, the final was not indicative of how the Wildcats played or how close the game really was.

The Wildcats never actually had the lead after Phillips scored the first points of the match, but the score was either tied or within 13 points throughout the first half.

Towards the midpoint of the first half the Bears had an 18-16 lead, but a 13-2 run saw that gap widen to 31-18.

The Wildcats and Bears both relied heavily on perimeter shots in the contest, and Tharptown had trouble hitting shots behind the arc in the first half, allowing the Bears to take a 9-point lead into the break at 42-33.

Rodney Camp and Tyler Crumpton did not have as much trouble early on as the duo helped put Phillips into the driving seat in the match.

‘We didn’t do a good job covering Camp,” Tharptown head coach Jonathan Odom said. “We didn’t hit out free throws and they did.”

Both teams came out of intermission firing on all cylinders. Kelby Hallmark, who had trouble getting shots to fall in the early goings, lit it up in the third. He had 19 of his 28 points in those eight minutes including several threes.

Tharptown and Phillips combined for 50 points in the third, with the Bears scoring just six more points at 28-22.

When the Wildcats were not setting up perimeter shots they went to Riley and Max Nolen down low, which accounted for the majority of the field goals made inside the three-point line.

Phillips hit the majority of its penalty shots late in the match allowing it to keep a steady lead, which culminated in the win for the Bears.

“We need to develop some guys, and our post players like Max need to be more physical,” Odom said.

Hallmark’s 28 was tops for Tharptown in the scoring department on the night. Riley Nolen had 16 and Max Nolen totaled 12 points.

Blake Gray added 7 points, Colton Blankenship had 4 and Drake Lawson contributed 3.

— stats kept by Jeremy Reed