J.R. Tidwell/FCT Sophomore Kasey Sparks (35) and senior Hannah Sharp (34) of Red Bay made the All-State Tournament team after the game Saturday night.

Archived Story

Red Bay girls take second in state tourney

Published 6:00am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

BIRMINGHAM — The 2012 2A Girl’s State Championship trophy was just out of reach for the Red Bay Lady Tigers Friday evening.

Though the girls had the lead late, the Section Lady Lions downed Red Bay 54-49 in the Final 48 State Tournament in Birmingham.

“I’m so proud of our team,” Red Bay head coach Donnie Roberts said. “They fought, and gave 32 minutes of maximum effort.”

The game was destined to stay close throughout as the two best girls’ teams in the state in 2A fought for the title.

Section took the lead at 14-9 at the end of the first quarter; the Lady Lions extended that lead to 30-21 at halftime.

“Before halftime we missed some shots and free throws,” Roberts said. “I told the girls at halftime if we keep our intensity higher than theirs we could come back.And come back they did.

Section took its largest lead of the game at 32-21 with 7:06 remaining in the third.

Lexy Lindsey followed that with a steal and layup for Red Bay, kicking off a late comeback for the Lady Tigers.

Hannah Sharp made a layup, free throw and 3-pointer in the following three minutes. Kasey Sparks hit three foul shots as well in that span.

Carlee Berry hit a trey with 1:40 to go in the quarter, followed by a layup and two free throws by Sparks.

This scoring barrage tied the game at 38-38 with 7:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Sparks completed the comeback with a short jumper to give Red Bay its first lead of the game. The Lady Lions tied the game again at 40 each, but another Sparks’ layup put the Lady Tigers back on top.

Sparks then drew an and one on a layup and hit the foul shot to put Red Bay up by five. With 3:26 left in the game.

Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers it all went downhill after that point. Section answered the comeback with a run of its own to retake the advantage at 47-45 with 2:14 to go.

Red Bay was unable to hold off the surging Lady Lions, and Section came away with a five-point victory in a close, hard-fought match.

“[The girls] played like champions,” Roberts said. “It hurts not to win, but I’m so proud of the effort they gave. It was one of those games that could have gone either way. W were just on the short end of it.”

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