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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2006
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Hartselle's Jessi Smith drives on Carver's Deangela Sword in Thursday action of the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Hartselle's Jessi Smith drives on Carver's Deangela Sword in Thursday action of the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic.

Hartselle
closer to title

Lady Tigers find their step in 4th quarter of Orthopaedic Classic

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

The Hartselle High girls basketball team is one step closer to repeating as the Decatur Orthopaedic Clinic Classic champs Thursday at Earl Morris Gymnasium.

The Lady Tigers put together a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter to defeat previously unbeaten Carver of Montgomery 55-45.

Carver, ranked No. 7 in Class 6A, falls to 12-1 on the season with the loss. Hartselle, ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, improves to 14-2 and is slated to play J.O. Johnson at noon today. The noon winner will play in the title game at 7:30 p.m.

After jumping to a 19-12 lead, Hartselle trailed 31-28 at the half. The Lady Tigers kept the game close, trailing 43-41 going into the final period.

Jessica Andrews led Hartselle with 17 points. Lauren Drake had 14 points with Mary Virginia Reeves finishing with a double-double performance.

Reeves scored 10 points, while pulling down 11 rebounds.

"Usually I have to work hard to get an open shot in a game," Andrews said. "But, I had some clear, open shots in this one. A lot of that was due to our post players Lauren (Drake) and Mary Virginia. They were getting the ball underneath and kicking it out to me, and that helped a lot."

Andrews said that playing an unbeaten team served as motivation for Hartselle.

"Carver beat Ramsay this year, and Ramsay was No. 1 in 5A," Andrews said. "We talked about how tough they were going to be, and we were saying if we can just hang in there with Carver, we can beat them. We really wanted to give them their first loss and we did. It felt good to do it, too."

Hartselle coach Greg Adams said one of the main goals for the Lady Tigers was to keep their turnovers under double digits.

"We did it. We had nine turnovers," Adams said. "I'm very pleased with that. Our players knew were playing an unbeaten team, and they used it to motivate themselves. But, for us, it was just another day. It was a big win, but, we just want to get better every day. That's the main thing we're trying to do."

Deangela Sword led Carver with 14 points. Whitney Rupert had 11.

Hartselle claimed 42 rebounds, while the Lady Wolverines had 35.

"Our main goal is to get to Wallace (site of regionals) and then win state," Andrews said. "These kind of teams, real tough like Carver, is the kind of teams we'll play if we make it to Wallace. We just stayed calm and under control and forced them to make mistakes once we got the lead. They started rushing things then and that's when they made a lot of mistakes."

Lawrence County 50, Decatur 32: Lawrence County, ranked No. 5 in 4A, rolled into the semifinal round with the victory over host Decatur.

Lawrence County (15-1) led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter and 25-11 at the half.

Jasma McDonald had a double-double game for the Lady Red Devils with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Nakia McDaniel finished the game with 10 rebounds.

Lawrence County had 49 rebounds while Decatur grabbed 32.

Whitney Fletcher led Decatur (1-13) in scoring with nine points.

Both teams had trouble offensively with plenty of missed shots. Lawrence County made 22 of 58 shots from the floor with the Lady Raiders hitting 10 of 51.

Lawrence County will take on Bob Jones today at 10:30 a.m. in semifinal play. Decatur is scheduled to play Grissom at 3.

The winners of Lawrence County/Bob Jones and Johnson/Hartselle will battle at 7:30 tonight for the tournament championship.

Clay-Chalkville 75, Tanner 32: Clay-Chalkville (8-8) had five players to score double figures. Cylenthia Kennon led the Lady Cougars with 15 points with Emily Landers finishing with 13. Brantli Nichols and Lauren Baxter had 11 points each and Alex Strickland had 10.

Cecily Woods led Tanner (7-6) with 12 points.

Huntsville 52, Wenonah 41: Lauren Pollard led Huntsville (9-7) with 14 points with Courtney Sparkman finishing with 13.

Jasmine Tate led Wenonah (14-6) in scoring with 13 points. Ashley Smith also produced double digits with 10 points.

J.O. Johnson 46, Dobyns-Bennett (Tenn.) 35: Lazandria Binford led J.O. Johnson (14-6) in scoring with 10 points.

Jill Childress scored nine points to lead Dobyns-Bennett (10-5).

Bob Jones 66, Grissom 36: Bob Jones, ranked No. 4 in 6A, moved into the semifinals with the victory. The Lady Patriots led 33-18 at halftime and cruised to victory.

Kellie Cook led Bob Jones (15-3) with 14 points. Anna Lane led Grissom (10-5) with 12 points.

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