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Phil Campbell girls lose heartbreaker to end basketball post-season run

The fifth-ranked Phil Campbell Bobcat girls had a challenge ahead of them facing the second-ranked Susan Moore Bulldogs on their home court. The Bobcats accepted the challenge head on until the end but came up short, losing to the Bulldogs 45-41 in the Northwest Regional semifinals.

“That was a very good basketball team,” said Phil Campbell Coach Craig Thomas. “They were very physical.  We challenged our girls before the game to take the fight to them, and they accepted the challenge.

“We just missed some opportunities and ran out of gas. We played our hearts out and left nothing on the floor. It was probably our best defensive effort of the year.”

Several times during the game it seemed Susan Moore was going to pull away for a relatively easy win, but the Bobcats kept fighting and climbing back into the game.

The Bulldogs led the Bobcats 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and trailed 21-17 at the half.

Phil Campbell clamped down defensively in the third quarter, holding Susan Moore to five points and taking a 28-26 lead into the fourth quarter. Susan Moore hit a couple of three pointers in the fourth quarter that gave them a sevenpoint lead with a minute to go in the game.

Katie Thomas hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds to go cut the Bulldogs’ lead to four points. That was followed by Susan Moore missing a quick shot and Caitlynn Mills getting a breakaway layup to cut the lead to two points with less than 40 seconds to go.

The Bulldogs missed another shot, giving the Bobcats an opportunity to tie the game, but it came up short.

Thomas led the Bobcats with 18 points. Kenner Scott added nine points, Madison Branch six points, Caitlynn Mills five points, Olivia Taylor two points and Faith Cook one point.

The Bobcats end their season with a 27-6 record.

“I am really proud of these seniors,” said Thomas. “They led us the whole year. The other girls fed off of their leadership and energy. They have had a very successful career. They can go out with their heads held high.”

SUGBREGION: Phil Campbell 58, Elkmont 36

The Phil Campbell Bobcats overcame a poor shooting performance in the second quarter to come back and beat Elkmont 58-36 in subregion play and advance to the semifinals.

Phil Campbell led Elkmont 10-9 at the end of the first quarter. Making four of 19 shots in the second half, the Bobcats trailed Elkmont 23-22 at halftime.

Phil Campbell stepped up the full court defensive pressure in the second half, forcing turnover after turnover by Elkmont, leading to some easy basketball for the Bobcats.

Phil Campbell outscored Elkmont 14-3 in the third quarter, taking a 36-26 lead, and put the game away in the fourth.