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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2006
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Austin High's Ardiana Wilkerson (14) saves the ball from going out of bounds. Carver's Brittney Carter grabbed the loose ball. Carver won the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic tournament game 69-57 Wednesday night.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Austin High's Ardiana Wilkerson (14) saves the ball from going out of bounds. Carver's Brittney Carter grabbed the loose ball. Carver won the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic tournament game 69-57 Wednesday night.

Hartselle clears first hurdle
Lady Tigers seek defense of tournament title

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Hartselle High’s girls basketball team picked up Wednesday where it left off last year in the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic — with a win.

The defending tournament champions started with a 58-44 victory over Brainerd (Tenn.) High.

The win over the Lady Panthers marks nine straight victories for Hartselle (13-2), which is ranked second in Class 5A. As the tournament continues at Decatur High, the Lady Tigers will play again today at 3:30 p.m. against Carver-Montgomery (11-0), which is ranked No. 7 in 6A.

The Lady Tigers played Brainerd in a Thanksgiving tournament, giving Adams a chance to develop a game plan.

“We beat them by five in that tournament without Mary Virginia (Reeves), who was out with a twisted ankle,” Hartselle coach Greg Adams said. “We re-committed ourselves after Thanksgiving and have played well since then. I don’t think we are playing our best basketball yet, but we’re making progress every game.”

Lauren Drake paced the Lady Tigers with 20 points, 14 rebounds, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots.

Jessica Andrews and Reeves added 11 points each, while Reeves made four steals.

The two teams finished the first quarter tied 14-14, and Hartselle held a 26-21 lead at the half.

After intermission, it looked as if a different team ran onto the floor in the second half for the Lady Tigers. Hartselle made a 21-9 run in the third quarter to take a commanding 47-30 lead.

“Basically, we talked about our transition game and looked at how many turnovers we had,” Adams said. “Out of 14 turnovers in the first half, they scored points on eight of them.”

Antornetta Ivey led Brainerd (9-5) in scoring with 13 points. Jessica Jones and Latisha Smith finished with 11 points each.

Carver-Montgomery 69, Austin 57: Numerous times during the game, it appeared as if Carver was going to make it a runaway, but the Lady Bears kept battling to keep the contest close.

Perhaps even more significant, Austin (10-6) did it without an important part of its team — head coach Bruce Hamilton missed the game because of a stomach virus.

Brittney Carter led the Lady Wolverines with 22 points. Tiffany McClure finished with 21 points with Deangela Sword scoring 12.

Chasity Stover led Austin with 19 points with Jazmine Powers finishing with 11.

“I thought their post player No. 54 (Carter) had a great game for them,” said Austin assistant coach Steve Pendley, who filled in for Hamilton.

“We just didn’t have an answer for 54. I thought our girls played well overall. We played really hard, but we missed a lot of opportunities, like our free- throw shooting. Carver has a nice team and they are very well-coached.”

Carver led 33-27 at halftime and 52-41 at the end of the third period.

The Lady Bears were able to pull within four points at one point in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

The Lady Black Bears are slated to play today at 2 against Brainerd.

Lawrence County 56, Huntsville 47: The Lady Red Devils advanced to a contest tonight at 8 against host Decatur, which had a bye through the first day.

Lawrence County utilized a balanced scoring attack in securing the victory. Nakia McDaniel, Jasma McDonald and Shea Mason had 14 points each for Lawrence County. Sallie Burch finished with 11.

The Lady Red Devils’ defense produced 17 steals. Burch and McDonald each had four, while McDaniel and Joanna Cain each added three.

Lauren Pollard led Huntsville with 23 points.

Dobyns-Bennett (Tenn.) 55, Tanner 47: Sabra Lawson led Dobyns-Bennett (10-4) with 20 points with Blaine Frohlich finishing with 15.

Hollye Keenum led Tanner (7-5) with 22 points, while Cecily Woods had 10.

Dobyns-Bennett is scheduled to play at 5 today against J.O. Johnson, and Tanner will play Clay-Chalkville at 12:30.

J.O. Johnson 46, Clay-Chalkville 45: The Lady Jaguars edged Clay-Chalkville to move into the winners' bracket.

Channetta Allen scored double figures for J.O. Johnson (13-6) with 11 points. Brantli Nichols led Clay-Chalkville (7-8) with 14 points.

Grissom 55, Wenonah 47: Grissom led 22-12 at intermission, and despite a 19-13 third quarter run by Wenonah, the Lady Tigers held on to move into the winners' bracket.

Anna Lane led Grissom (10-4) in scoring with 25 points, while Katie Amos finished with 16.

Bridgette Barnfield had 16 points for Wenonah (14-5), and Keiara Middleton scored 11.

Grissom plays Bob Jones, which had a bye, today at 6:30 p.m., with Wenonah scheduled to play Huntsville at 11 a.m.

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