Belgreen puts out HackleburgPublished 5:57am Saturday, February 11, 2012
THARPTOWN — The Belgreen Lady Bulldogs ended the Hackleburg Lady Panthers season in dramatic fashion Thursday night, winning a close 50-43 contest that came down to the wire.
The two teams swapped leads in the third quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs overcame a deficit in the fourth to pick up the win and extend their season.
“There isn’t any talking to a team after a win like this,” Belgreen head coach Ritchie Hester said. “Right now you celebrate. That’s all you can do after a win like that.”
The Lady Bulldogs got off to an early lead by the 39.6 to go mark in the first quarter at 16-10. Hackleburg still trailed by six points at the midpoint of the second at 23-17.
Laken Bragwell-Beasley hit a field goal to put Belgreen up 25-19 with 1:35 remaining in the first half. Bridget Thompson hit a 3-pointer to end the half on a high note for the Lady Bulldogs, giving them a 28-21 advantage at intermission.
The Lady Panthers went on a 5-0 run after halftime to cut Belgreen’s lead to two points at 28-26 with 6:46 left in the third.
Hackleburg knotted up the game at 28-28, but a 3-pointer by Bragwell-Beasley put the Lady Bulldogs back on top 31-28.
The Lady Panthers tied the game again and took their first lead of the game on a 3 with five minutes left in the third. Hackleburg extended its lead to 38-33 going into the final quarter.
A jumper by Lauren Oliver, a free throw by Thompson and a 3-pointer by Erica Smith gave Belgreen back the lead at 39-38 with 4:50 remaining in the game.
Thompson completed a 9-0 run by the Lady Bulldogs in the fourth with another shot from behind the arc, putting Belgreen up 42-38.
The teams battled for the rest of the quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs managed to hold off Hackleburg and pick up the win.
“We’ve been playing better the last couple of weeks,” Hester said. “After Erica [Smith] went down in the second [due to injury], the rest of the team stepped up. Bridget Thompson played hard when we needed her.”
Thompson led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points, a career high, including four 3-pointers.
“I’m so excited,” Thompson said. “Everybody stepped up tonight.”
Bragwell-Beasley and Smith hit double digits in points with 15 and 11 points respectively. Oliver scored six, and Alyson Bragwell added one.