Wildcats get solid start against county teams
By Bart Moss for the FCT
The Tharptown Wildcats scored two varsity wins over the Belgreen Bulldogs to open their season Nov. 17.
In varsity girls action, Tharptown defeated Belgreen 49-40. In the varsity boys game, Tharptown defeated Belgreen 75-43.
The first three quarter of the girls’ game were low scoring, with the Wildcats taking small leads in each. Tharptown led 11-7 after the first quarter and 22-17 at the half. Tharptown extended the lead in the third quarter to 31-25. Both teams turned on the scoring in the fourth quarter with Tharptown edging out Belgreen 18-16 to get the win.
“I was really proud of the way our girls played,” said first-year coach Marc Tracy. “It was our first game experience together. The girls will learn and I will learn as we move forward in the season and look to improve.”
Jessica Wilson led Tharptown with 21 points. Kaitlyn Vandiver added ten points. Others scoring for the Wildcats were Haley Malone (6), Klaudia Harris (5), Linda Bahena (3), Debbie Gomez (2) and Ameliah Dawson (2).
Allyson Bragwell scored 16 points to lead the way for Belgreen. Others scoring for the Bulldogs were Gabbie Moore (9), Jasmine Martin (6), Nicole Borden (4), Shellie Barber (3) and Brianna Wood (2).
The varsity boys’ game wasn’t nearly as close as the girls. With most all of the players returning from last year’s 27-3 team, the Wildcats were wanting to put an exclamation mark on their first game of the year.
Tharptown scored 20 or more points in each of the first three quarters as they cruised to the easy win. The Wildcats scored 20 in the first quarter, 20 in the second quarter and 29 in the third quarter to take a 69-33 lead into the final quarter of action.
“We played hard and fast tonight,” said Tharptown coach Jonathan Odom. “I thought we had some typical first game jitters, but overall I was pleased with the way we played and especially with how our guys played coming off the bench. The way we play, we need to develop some depth, and what I saw was a good start.”
Bailey Motes and Blake Gray led the Wildcats with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Heath Hatton added 15 points, and Max Nolen scored 10 points. Others scoring for Tharptown were Matthew Brasuell and Braden Key with six points each and Nathan Chaney and Zack Wilson with two points each.
Belgreen was led by Joseph Welch and Drew Boshell, scoring 16 and 13 points, respectively. Others scoring for the Bulldogs were Seth Taylor (6), Jacob Mayberry (3), Payton Scott (2), Nathanial Rea (2) and Adam Green (1).
The Tharptown Wildcats and Phil Campbell Bobcats split varsity games Nov. 20, with the Lady Bobcats upending the Lady Wildcats 43-27 and the Tharptown varsity boys defeating the Phil Campbell boys 92-67.
The Tharptown Lady Wildcats struggled to score early on as the Phil Campbell Lady Bobcats pulled away to a 29-5 first half lead and held on for the easy road win.
Phil Campbell’s Abby Davis led all scorers with 13 points. Leah Gunderman added 11 points for the Bobcats. Others scoring for Phil Campbell were Chloe Roberson and Darby Elliot with six points each, Elizabeth Benford with four points, Carley Nix with two points and Denver Elliot with one point.
No Tharptown players scored in double digits. Malone score six points to lead the Wildcats. Vandiver added five points. Others scoring for the Wildcats were Wilson, Bahena, Cati Dawson and Ameliah Dawson, scoring three points each. Harris scored two points, and Gomez added one point.
The varsity boys’ game was an early shootout. Tharptown and Phil Campbell traded baskets for much of the first half. The Wildcats led the Bobcats 22-19 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter was much of the same with Tharptown outscoring Phil Campbell 25-19 to give the Wildcats a 47-38 halftime advantage.
Tharptown outscored Phil Campbell 19-13 to extend their lead to 66-51 going into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats put the game away in the fourth quarter scoring 26 points and holding Phil Campbell to 16 points.
Nolen and Motes led all scorers with 24 points each. Hatton and Chaney added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Others scoring for Tharptown were Mikey Rosson (8), Key (4), Gray (4), Gabe Lawler (3) and Wilson (2).
Phil Campbell had four players in double figures with Hayden Copeland scoring 16 points, Gage Roberson adding 15 points, Noah Williams with 14 points and Grant Masterson adding ten points. Others scoring for the Bobcats were Rhett Benford (7), Andrew Pennington (3) and Blake Jones (2).