Phil Campbell holds off Tharptown to win varsity girls championship
The Phil Campbell Bobcats held off a big comeback from the Tharptown Wildcats to claim the Franklin County Championship 32-29.
Early on, Phil Campbell appeared poised to run away with the game. Two three-pointers by Macy Hardy and one by Hannah Welborn helped the Bobcats take a commanding 12-3 lead in the first quarter.
Back-to-back buckets by Tharptown’s Kaitlyn Simmons, however, helped get the Wildcats back in position, cutting the lead to 18-12 at halftime.
Tharptown continued that comeback in the third quarter. Off a steal, Autumn Montgomery drove the length of the floor, made a layup and was fouled. After the ensuing free throw, Tharptown had cut the Bobcat lead to 22-20.
Simmons made a free throw to cut Phil Campbell’s lead to 24-23 at the end of the third quarter.
The Tharptown girls took their first lead of the game on a back cut by Sarah Mansell with an assist from Montgomery, making the score 25-24.
Phil Campbell, however, pushed the lead back to five when Hardy got a steal and was fouled. At the line, she made both free throws to give the Bobcats a 30-25 lead.
Tharptown wasn’t done. A missed three-pointer by Montgomery was rebounded and put back by Savannah Romans to cut the lead to 30-29. Phil Campbell scored once more to pull out the three-point win.
Madison Branch led Phil Campbell with 13 points. She went three-for-four from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Welborn and Hardy scored eight points each. Allie Herring added three points.
Simmons led Tharptown with nine points, followed by Montgomery with seven points, Romans with four points, Mansell with four points, Kyndall Morgan with two points and Harleigh Borden with two points.
SEMIFINALS: Tharptown 38, Belgreen 30
After losing to Belgreen by double digits earlier in the year, Tharptown got sweet revenge when it counted most, beating the Bulldogs 38-30 on their home court to advance to the finals of the Franklin County Tournament.
The Wildcats win set up a rematch of the past year’s finals with Phil Campbell; in 2022, the Wildcats came out on top.
Tharptown led the entire game in a low-scoring contest. The Wildcats led 17-11 at halftime and 33-20 at the end of the third quarter.
Romans led Tharptown with 17 points on several assists from Montgomery. Romans had eight points in a big 16-point third quarter for the Wildcats.
Montgomery followed Romans with seven points. Simmons and Mansell had six points, and Morgan contributed two points.
Noelle Willingham led Belgreen with 15 points. She was followed by Makenna Fisher with eight points, Bryn Scott with three points, Dacota Green with two points and Carson Hovater with two points.
SEMIFINALS: Phil Campbell 63, Vina 33
The Phil Campbell Bobcats made quick work of the Vina Red Devils to set up a rematch with the Tharptown Wildcats in the finals of the tournament. Phil Campbell put the game away early, beating Vina 63-33.
Phil Campbell jumped out to a 22-7 first quarter lead and led 40-11 at halftime, coasting to an easy win.
Branch led the Bobcats with 23 points, followed by 14 points from Hardy and 13 points from Sidda Rogers. Herring added eight points, and Welborn scored five points.
Sarah Harper led Vina with 14 points.
QUARTERFINALS: Tharptown 38, Red Bay 29
Tharptown overcame a bad third quarter to outlast the Red Bay Tiger girls and advance to the semifinals, beating the Tigers 38-29.
After leading 22-16 at halftime, Tharptown mustered one point in the third quarter, allowing Red Bay to tie the game 25-25. The Wildcats regained their footing in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Tigers 15-4 to get the win.
Montgomery led Tharptown with 11 points. Simmons added nine points, Mansell eight points, Romans six points, Morgan three points and Alyssa Abbott one point.
Kaylie Lindley led Red Bay with 12 points. Jaycee Vinson and Shelby Nichols scored seven points each. Amber Mason added two points, and DaRilee Colbern chipped in one point.