Girls subregionals: Tigers advance, Bulldogs fall

By Bart Moss for the FCT

The Red Bay Lady Tigers were not about to let their coach’s last game on their home court be a loss. The Tiger perimeter defense gave the Mars Hill Panthers fits while giving the offense time to find its rhythm. Red Bay held Mars Hill to just three points in the first half and exploded for a 28 point third quarter en route to the 60-36 blowout of Mars Hill.

The Tigers advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State Community College, where they will face a familiar foe, Cold Springs, Thursday at 6 p.m.

Following the win, Red Bay Coach Donnie Roberts was presented the game ball by his family, and all current and former players joined him at center court. Although the Tigers will play on, it was Roberts’ last game to coach the girls’ basketball team at home. As much as has been made about this being his last season, Roberts said this is all about his team advancing toward their goal.

“I have reminded these girls all season long that this is about them,” said Roberts. “It might be my last season, but it’s about them winning a state championship. We played a great defensive game tonight. We got off to a sluggish start offensively, made some halftime adjustments and put the game away.”

Mars Hill scored the first points of the game but would not score again until a lone free throw with 2:02 to go in the second quarter. The Panthers went 1-for-18 from the field in the first half and made seven turnovers against the Tigers defense. Red Bay led Mars Hill 9-2 at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers had extended their lead to 19-3 by halftime, thanks in large part to backdoor cuts against Mars Hill’s man-to-man defense.

“We played really good defense in the first half but we were just not on with our offense,” said senior guard Allie Kennedy, a Southern Miss signee. “We just said at halftime we were going to have to get it in gear and put this thing away, and we did.”

The Tigers came out of the locker room on fire, scoring 28 points and holding Mars Hill to 16, effectively putting the game away with a lead of 47-19 going into the fourth quarter. Kennedy and fellow senior Darby Madden scored all of Red Bay’s 28 third quarter points.

“We made some adjustments to Mars Hill’s defense at halftime,” said Madden, a UNA signee. “We got the ball to the middle and either get good looks at the basket or kicked the ball back out to the perimeter for open looks.”

Kennedy led Red Bay with 21 points (15 coming in the third quarter). Madden followed with 17 points (13 in the third quarter). Morgan Pierce added nine points, Reagan Kuykendall had five points and Carlee Humphres finished with two points.

R.A. Hubbard 56, Belgreen 47

The Belgreen Lady Bulldogs’ season came to a close Monday night in a subregion loss to R.A. Hubbard 58-47. The Bulldogs trailed R.A. Hubbard but came back to tie the game early in the fourth quarter. Miscues hampered Belgreen down the stretch.

“We did a good job getting back into the game,” said Belgreen Coach Chad Green. “We just missed too many layups and allowed them too many offensive rebounds and putbacks.”

R.A. Hubbard led Belgreen by two at the end of the first quarter, 12-10. The Chiefs extended their lead to 27-19 by halftime. Belgreen started their comeback in the third quarter, outscoring R.A. Hubbard 18-11 to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 38-37. The Bulldogs tied the game at 40-40 early in the fourth quarter, but R.A. Hubbard would go on to outscore Belgreen 18-10 to win the game.

Jasmine Martin led Belgreen with 15 points. Brianna Wood and Shellie Barber scored seven points each. Gabbie Moore added five points. Emma Willingham and Emma Dempsey added four points each. Kaycee Wilson scored three points, and Camie Terrell had two points.

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