Lady Wildcats blow past R.A. Hubbard, 70-54
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Tharptown Lady Wildcats stared adversity in the face Friday night and came away victorious, beating the R.A. Hubbard Chiefs 70-54.
The Lady Wildcats withstood a furious third quarter comeback by the Chiefs to punch their ticket to the northwest regional tournament on the campus of Wallace State in Hanceville next week.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-7 first quarter lead and led by as many as 12 points.
R.A. Hubbard hit a last second three-point shot to cut Tharptown’s lead to nine, putting the score at 30-21 going into the locker room at halftime.
“We played well out of the gate tonight,” Tharptown coach Chad Green said.
“We were playing good defense, pushing the ball up the court and hitting our shots. When they hit that three at the buzzer it seemed to change the momentum going into the second half.”
And change the momentum it did.
R.A. Hubbard scored the first six points out of the locker room and went on a 17-10 run to tie the game, 40-40, with 1:48 to go in the third quarter.
“Hubbard really stepped up their pressure defense in the third quarter,” Green said.
“I think it rattled us but we finally settled down, ran our offense and gradually pulled away.”
Tharptown called a timeout to stop the momentum and it seemed to work. Jessica Wilson immediately broke the deadlock with a layup giving Tharptown a 42-40 lead.
The Wildcats went on an 8-1 run to end the third quarter with a 48-41 lead.
The Chiefs cut the Wildcat lead back to two points, putting the score at 48-46 to start the fourth quarter.
That was as close as the game would get. Senior Kamri Sears scored six straight points as Tharptown went on a 12-1 run that would seal the win and a trip to the regionals for the Wildcats.
“This is what we’ve worked for all year,” said Sears, who led the Wildcats with 28 points.
“We want a chance to go to Birmingham to state. Now we have it. I can’t wait.”
Tharptown made 23 of 29 free throws on the night – a big key to winning the game.
“That’s why you shoot free throws every day in practice,” Green said. “It won the game for us tonight.
“I’m very proud of our team. I’m especially proud of our seniors, Kamri [Sears] and Danielle [Creasy]. They are competitors and they refuse to lose.”
Along with Sears, Jessica Wilson also scored in double figures with 14 points. Other Wildcats scoring were Haley Malone (9), Kaitlyn Vandiver (9), Kathy Alfaro (7), and Danielle Creasy (3).
Tharptown will play Falkville on the campus of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville Tuesday at 3 p.m.
Because of press deadlines, coverage of that game will be posted directly to the FCT website at www.fct.wpengine.com.