News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

East Lawrence advances to
N.W. Regionals

Hazlewood, R.A. Hubbard,
Danville playing in Hanceville

From Staff Reports

If only East Limestone High's girls basketball team could have held the East Lawrence lead to 14 points, the Lady Indians might be looking forward to a Northwest Regional game in the Class 4A state playoffs.

Alas, the Lady Eagles increased their 14-point halftime lead to 30 in the third quarter before holding on for a 63-60 sub-region round win over East Limestone.

Next, East Lawrence will face Haleyville in the Northwest Regional at Wallace State-Hanceville on Thursday at 9 a.m.

"To fight back and only lose by three is just tough," East Limestone head coach Brian Wagnon said. "We had a wide-open shot right at the 3-point line at the buzzer and missed. It's tough to see the girls fight back like they did and come away with the loss."

For East Lawrence head coach Candace Byrd, those final minutes were worrisome as turnovers continued to build.

"We pressed. We played great, solid defense. Our shots were falling," Byrd said. "We were playing smart. One turnover turned the whole game around, and East Limestone came back because they wanted it."

Still, a win is a win and Byrd will take it anyway she can get it. But, as Byrd said she told the team afterward, the season isn't over.

"I told them I was proud of them, but to leave everything in Limestone County because we've got work to do once we get back," Byrd said. "No one thought we would make it this far, and I'm proud of them. But we've still got work to do. A lot of work to do."

For East Limestone (22-7), a team made of girls who had never been to the playoffs, Wagnon wasn't upset at their second half effort.

"I just told them it's an unbelievable comeback," Wagnon said. "They didn't give up and they very easily could have rolled over when we were down 30. They fought their hearts out. It's just tough to end your season like that."

He added, "This group has never been into the playoffs. I don't know if that had anything to do with the nerves. But credit East Lawrence, they came out and took it to us in the first half, and we just didn't have an answer for them."

East Limestone's Ebony McCrary led all scorers with 22 points. Danielle Jefferson added 11, and Emily Brackeen had nine points and eight rebounds.

Paige Hood's 21 points led East Lawrence, which also got 18 from LaKendra Wright and 14 from Paris Davis.

"I don't know if it was nerves, or what it was," Wagnon

"It didn't look like the same team that's been playing all season. We really picked our pressure back up and started playing the second half."

Class 1A

Sulligent 46, Speake 43: Kylie Black and Malea Hensley combined for 32 points, but it wasn't enough for Speake (12-16) to move into the Northwest Regional. Black scored 20 points, and Hensley added 12.

Hazlewood 79, Shoals Christian 48: Amber Jones scored 30 points, and Hazlewood moved into the regionals at Wallace State-Hanceville on Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Sulligent.

Naughtia Langham added 18 and Antoinetta Howlett had 13 for the Lady Golden Bears.

Marion County 38, Mount Hope 36: Anna Roberson had 14 points for Mount Hope (12-12), and Tamara Robinson pitched in 11. Laura Rutherford pulled down 10 rebounds.

R.A. Hubbard 61, Belgreen 46: Bernisha Harris scored 24 points and Chasity Puryear added 17 as the Lady Chiefs moved past Belgreen. R.A. Hubbard led by only two at halftime, 26-24.

Class 2A

Mars Hill 49, Addison 38: Jessy Willingham had 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Addison (19-9), while Haley Wiggins contributed 13 points and six rebounds.

Sarah Bailey's 20 points paced Mars Hill.

Westminster Christian 73, Hatton 65: Kaitlyn Fleming had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to pace Hatton (16-13).

Emily Shelton poured in 17 points, and Paige Rutherford had 13 points and eight rebounds. Breanna Culver contributed 11 points and six assists.

Class 3A

Danville 46, Sumiton Christian 41: Lauren Simmons picked up a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds as Danville (18-13) held off Sumiton Christian (10-22). Bethany Evans added 12 points, five assists and six steals.

The Lady Hawks will play either Elkmont or Sheffield in the Northwest Regional on Thursday at 6 p.m. Elkmont and Sheffield play today.


Austin boys 3, Hazel Green 0: Goalkeeper Andrew Lowman pitched the shutout and the Black Bears picked up a hat trick from Tyler Westendorf as Austin prepares for a weekend voyage to Mobile. Austin will open the Southern Shootout on Friday against McGill-Toolen in Daphne.

The Black Bears, who beat Arab 2-1 on Tuesday, will play their next game in the area Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Albertville, and will host Grissom at 6:30 p.m Thursday.

Decatur boys 7, Madison Academy 0: Raul Alanis scored two goals as Decatur cruised to the win.

The Red Raiders (1-0-1) also got one goal each from Scott Sumners, Tom Gray, Felipe Zagal, Phoenix Iverson and Sam Hand. Andrew Wenzler and Brandon Rudd combined for the shutout in goal. Decatur will play at Arab on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

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