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Red Bay falls to Cold Springs in regional finals

The Red Bay Tigers fell to the Cold Springs Eagles 54-36 in the finals of the Northwest Regionals Tuesday.

The two teams were locked in an early three-point shooting battle, but the Eagles were able to sustain the hot hand and advance to the Final Four in Birmingham, while the Tigers’ season came to an end.

“I thought we did what we needed to do,” said Red Bay coach Holly Kuykendall, “but we missed way too many easy shots. We needed to hit to hit baskets outside well, and we did, but we just couldn’t get the shots in the lane to fall.”

Both teams hit four three-pointers in the opening period of the game. For the Tigers, it was Reagan Kuykendall, Mallori Miller and Macy Faulkner – who shot two – with the hot hands. Faulkner’s two three-pointers came in the last 30 seconds of the first quarter to help Red Bay close the scoring game to 19-16.

Faulkner opened the second quarter with her third three to tie the game 19-19.

After that, the Tigers went cold from behind the arch. Cold Springs outscored Red Bay 12-2 the rest of the quarter to take a 31-21 halftime lead.

Kuykendall and Faulkner bookended the third quarter with one three-pointer each, but those were the only Red Bay points except for a single free throw. Cold Spring led Red Bay 42-28 at the end of the third quarter.

Cold Springs continued to dominate down the stretch, going 7-for-8 from the free-throw line and extending the lead out to 52-33.

Faulkner, a sophomore, and Kuykendall, a senior, led Red Bay with 13 points and 12 points respectively. Miller added five points, Destiny McCollister three points, Sarah Williams two points and Cassidy Kuykendall one point.

Red Bay ended the season 16-15.

“I think this team got better throughout the season,” said Kuykendall. “We got better, and we grew as a team. We had different leaders in different games.”

Reagan Kuykendall, Holly’s daughter, echoed her mom and coach.

“I think getting this far shows we were better than our record,” she said. “We played some very tough competition throughout the year that helped us get to this point.”

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