County girls play Area tournament games
By Bart Moss for the FCT
2A Area 15
Phil Campbell 42, Sulligent 39
The Phil Campbell Bobcats want one more shot at rival Red Bay and a chance to play for an area title. The first order of business was to get past a Sulligent team they had split with twice in the regular season. It was not an easy chore but, in the end, the Bobcats came out on top, 42-39.
Phil Campbell trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters due, in part, to missed free throws. It was not a good night for the Bobcats at the line, making only nine of 25 free throws.
Phil Campbell trailed Sulligent 6-5 at the end of the first quarter. Sulligent extended the lead to 14-10 by halftime and led 26-23 at the end of the third quarter. Phil Campbell outscored the Blue Devils 19-13 in the fourth quarter to overcome the deficit and take the win to advance to the finals of the area tournament.
Abby Davis led Phil Campbell with 19 points. Chole Roberson added nine points. Dakota Elliot had five points, Carley Nix had four points, Elizabeth Benford had three points, Leah Gunderman had two points and Darby Elliot finished with one point.
Phil Campbell will play Red Bay for the fourth time Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Red Bay – this time for an area championship.
2A Area 16
Hatton 39, Tharptown 34
The Tharptown Wildcats had faced Hatton twice before in the regular season. Both times the Hornets walked away with convincing wins. If Tharptown was going to have a chance to upset their rival and advance to the finals of the area tournament they would have to try something different. Tharptown Coach Marc Tracey decided to spread the floor and use patience and good shot selection to try and swat away any Hornet rally.
The game plan work almost to perfection. After battling the Hornets to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter, Tharptown jumped ahead of Hatton 18-13 at halftime. The Hornets fought back in the third quarter to take a 29-28 lead. Tharptown trailed by just one point with 24 seconds remaining on the clock but couldn’t retake the lead.
“We had our chances,” said Tracey. “We kept the game close and gave ourselves a chance to win the game. That’s what I asked for. We just couldn’t put it away in the end.”
Seniors Kaitlyn Vandiver and Haley Malone led the Wildcats in their last game with 12 points and 10 points respectively. Jessica Wilson added five points. Catie Dawson scored four points. Debbie Gomez finished with three points.
The loss brings Tharptown’s season to an end.
1A Area 15
Covenant Christian 61, Vina 33
“I wasn’t too happy with our performance,” said Coach Richie Hester after his Red Devils fell to Covenant Christian. “I was a little disappointed, but I was also happy with the season we had. We had a great season.” Hester said he was proud of his young team, which showed major improvement over the course of the season. “We plan on having a great season next year. Our expectations are going to be a lot higher.”
High scorer on the night was Abby Hester with 14 points, and Emma Humphres followed with 13 points.