Red Bay girls advance to regionals

By Keith Ledbetter

For the FCT

With an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter of their Saturday sub-region match with Lexington, it appeared the Red Bay Lady Tigers were going to punch their ticket for another region appearance.

Then the unthinkable happened – they stopped scoring, allowing the Lady Golden Bears to send the game into overtime on a 13-2 run to tie it up 39-39 at the end of regulation play.

Instead of carrying their disastrous fourth quarter into overtime, Red Bay didn’t panic and came back to win 52-41 to advance them to the Regional Tournament at Wallace State.

“That was the best four minutes of the game,” Lady Tiger head coach Donnie Roberts said about the overtime period.

“We went through a time that we just couldn’t make a layup, and just couldn’t make a shot that we had been making.”

Roberts said after that the Lady Tigers got frustrated and they quit playing defense.

“We just quit playing on both ends,” Roberts said.

After getting surrounded under the goal, Kasey Sparks led off Red Bay in overtime with an over-the-head, behind the back shot that cleared the rim.

Freshman Allie Kennedy soon followed, scoring an amazing eight points of her game high 25 during overtime. Kennedy was also four of six from the line in overtime.

Red Bay led 15-11 at the end of the first quarter, and had a 29-20 lead at halftime.

Lexington’s Savannah Stults connected on two three pointers in the top of the fourth to cut Red Bay’s 37-26 lead down to only five points.

Kasey Sparks scored the Lady Tigers’ only basket midway through the fourth to keep them on top by a score of 39-32, but Lexington’s Bailey White connected on a tre and Stults added the final four points to tie the game.

After Red Bay missed their last shot attempt, Lexington held on to the ball in the last seconds to make a final shot that rolled off the rim at the buzzer.

“We dodged a bullet tonight,” Roberts said. “Thank goodness they missed that easy shot.

“We told our girls before the overtime period started that it’s a new game. The score is zero to zero, and we’re going to get the tip and go down and score. And that’s what they did.”

Allie Kennedy led with 25 points, Kasey Sparks had 16, Darby Madden had nine, Elizabeth Wooten scored two.

The Lady Tigers will play Sulligent on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m.

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