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Belgreen girls win in overtime to return to regionals

When the post-season comes, the old saying is, “survive and advance.” The Belgreen Lady Bulldogs did just that Monday night to come from behind and beat the Mars Hill Panthers in overtime, 59-56. Belgreen advances to the Northwest Regionals for the third time in four years.

Belgreen trailed by 13 points during the third quarter but tightened the reins defensively and dominated the boards, not giving Mars Hill many second-chance scoring opportunities.

“We did a good job defensively in the second half with our full court press,” said Belgreen coach Chad Green. “We missed a lot of shots, especially free throws, early in the third quarter, but they finally started falling for us. We were able to substitute well offensively and defensively down the stretch; that helped us get back in the game and get the win. It was definitely a team effort defensively.”

Emma Dempsey led Belgreen with 19 points, going 11-for-23 from the free throw line. Katie Dempsey was seven-for-eight from the free-throw stripe and scored 11 points. Gracie Dempsey hit three-pointers in the third and fourth quarter and overtime for nine points. Ansley Tate went six-for-10 from the free-throw line and scored eight points. Autumn Bragwell hit two early three-pointers and scored eight points, and Gabbie Moore scored four points, including two big overtime free throws.

“I want to thank the good Lord for blessing us with good health and the opportunity to get this far,” added Green.

Belgreen will play Falkville in the Northwest Regionals at Wallace State Community College Thursday. Game times were not available at press time.

The sub-regional victory came after the girls topped Vina 88-51 but fell to the fourth-ranked Phillips Bears 83-38 in the area semifinals and finals, respectively.


Phillips 83, Belgreen 38

The ninth-ranked Belgreen Bulldogs struggled out of the gate against the fourth-ranked Phillips Bears in Class 1A, Area 12 finals, losing 83-38.  

Phillips dominated the game from the start, outscoring Belgreen 25-4 in the first quarter. The Bears led the Bulldogs 42-22 at halftime; extended that lead to 60-35 in the third quarter; and outscored the Bulldogs 23-3 in the fourth quarter.

Emma Dempsey led Belgreen with 11 points, seven of which came in the second quarter. Emma Willingham knocked down three three-pointers for nine points. Autumn Bragwell added seven points, Ansley Tate four points, Gracie Dempsey three points, Gabbie Moore two points and Katie Dempsey two points.

Belgreen 88, Vina 51

Emma and Katie Dempsey combined for 40 points to help the Belgreen Bulldogs easily dismantle the Vina Red Devils 88-51 in the Class 1A, Area 12 girls semifinals.

Belgreen jumped out to a 16-12 lead. Emma Dempsey scored 11 points in the second quarter, and Katie Dempsey went six-for-six from the free-throw line, scoring eight points to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 44-31 at halftime.  

Vina was 12-for-14 from the free-throw line in the second quarter.

Belgreen put the game away in the third quarter, outscoring Vina 23-4 to cruise to the win.

Emma Dempsey led Belgreen with 21 points, followed by Katie Dempsey with 19 points. Emma Willingham added 13 points. Megan Smith added nine points, Gracie Dempsey six points, Bragwell five points, Moore five points, Dalce Donagustin four points, Ansley Tate four points and Noelle Willingham two points.

Rayleigh Guin led Vina with 16 points, followed by Kaitlyn King with 11 points. Sara Scott added seven points, Emma Humphres six points, Sarah Johnson four points, LaDava Davis three points and Abbie Petree two points.