Lady Wildcats fall in regional gamePublished 2:22pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Tharptown Lady Wildcats fell just short of advancing to the finals of the Northwest Regional Tournament.
In a game with 14 lead changes and 10 ties, most of which came in the second half, the game fittingly went into overtime.
Falkville, however, outscored Tharptown 11-1 in overtime to win the game 58-48 and advance to the finals to play Covenant Christian.
“It was a tough way to lose at this point in the season,” said Tharptown coach Chad Green.
“I am really proud of the way our girls fought and played. They never game up.
“You can’t say enough about what our two seniors have been able to accomplish for Tharptown. I am so proud for both of them and we are going to miss them on the court and their leadership in the locker room.”
Both teams shot the ball well at the start of the game and both teams cooled off as the game progressed. The difference came with turnovers and at the free throw line.
Falkville’s pressure defense forced 24 Tharptown turnovers that led to 33 points for the Blue Devils. Half of Falkville’s 32 second half and overtime points came from the free throw line as the Blue Devils aggressively took the ball to the basket and drew fouls.
Tharptown stormed out of the gate early taking a 17-13 first quarter lead. Wildcat senior Kamri Sears scored 10 of her game high 17 points in the first half.
Falkville fought back and took their first lead of the game, 20-19, with 4:33 to go in the second quarter. The Blue Devils took a 26-24 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The game would go back-and-forth the entire second half. Tharptown led Falkville 36-33 at the end of the third quarter.
Falkville took a two-point lead with 1:20 to go in the game off a Tharptown turnover. Kaitlyn Vandiver drained a three-point shot with 40 seconds to go in the game to give the Wildcats a 46-45 lead.
Falkville regained the lead on free throws 47-46 with 19 seconds remaining.
Tharptown senior Danielle Creasy drove the ball to the basket and was able to draw a foul. Creasy went to the line with a change to give the Wildcats the lead. She hit one of two free throws to send the game to overtime tied 47-47.
It was all Falkville in overtime. Tharptown was unable to hit a single field goal and made only one free throw the overtime period.
Kamri Sears led Tharptown with 17 points and eight rebounds. Also scoring for Tharptown were Savannah Hamilton (9), Kaitlyn Vandiver (9), Danielle Creasy (7), Jessica Wilson (4), and Haley Malone (2).
The Tharptown Wildcats end the season with a 21-7 record. They won their area three straight seasons. In those three seasons, the Wildcats went 30-0 in their area.
The Wildcats will move up to 2A next season and be in an area with Hatton, Mars Hill and Cherokee.