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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2007
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Tanner players celebrate their 67-65 double overtime win over Mars Hill in the regionals in Hanceville on Tuesday night. Tanner will play Westminster Christian on Friday at 12:20 p.m. in the regional finals.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Tanner players celebrate their 67-65 double overtime win over Mars Hill in the regionals in Hanceville on Tuesday night. Tanner will play Westminster Christian on Friday at 12:20 p.m. in the regional finals.

Tanner teams advance
Urias' key steal, points the difference in double OT

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

HANCEVILLE — What do you do if you hit the game-winning shot in the Northwest Regional semifinal?

If you're Tanner's Jessica Urias, you go straight to supporting the boys as a cheerleader.

Urias stole the ball from Sarabeth Little near midcourt and converted on the layup with nine seconds left in the second overtime to help the Lady Rattlers to a 67-65 win in the Northwest Regional.

Then before most of her teammates were in street clothes, Urias was behind the boys bench showing another kind of school spirit in their 76-65 win.

"It's what I'm used to," Urias said. "I'm a little more enthusiastic today because I hit that shot."

The girls will play Westminster Christian on Friday at 12:20 p.m. for the regional championship. The boys take on West Morgan on Friday at 2 p.m.

Bodies were flying and tears were flowing following the girls game. Senior Lady Panthers Sarah Bailey — who finished with 43 points — and Little were overcome with emotion after the game.

Urias also was glassy eyed as her team mobbed her when time ran out.

In a physical game that saw several players hit the floor, no team gained an edge and no team gave away an edge until Urias stole the ball from Little.

First, with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter and Tanner down 57-55, Lady Rattler high scorer Hollye Keenum drove the lane and put in two of her 31 on a layup to tie the score at 57.

Cecily Woods then missed a shot with no time remaining to send the game to overtime.

With the score tied at 59 and time running out, Bailey missed, and then Keenum missed on an inbounds play with 2.3 seconds left.

That set the stage for a second four-minute frame, which was finished by Urias' bucket.

"Several times we could have folded," said Lady Rattlers coach Larry Greene. "There were no losers in that game. Both teams played extremely hard."

The same could be said of the boys game, but Tanner was a little more emphatic in putting Mars Hill away as the Rattlers answered first and last.

Tanner started the game on a 21-7 run then let the Panthers back in when Mars Hill had a 10-0 run to start the second half and gain a 44-35 lead.

According to Panthers coach Tony Willis, his team doesn't handle the press nor the zone well, and the Rattlers hit them with both to start the fourth quarter.

Tanner outscored Mars Hill 15-4 in the first six minutes of the final quarter to gain a 65-54 advantage that Mars Hill couldn't close.

"We went to a trap and that got some momentum to us," said Tanner coach Chris Whitt. "We had been playing man all game but decided to change then."

Rod Byrd led the Rattlers with 21 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Latraius Mosley chipped in with 19 points and Demarcus King had 15.

Mitchell Barnes had 18 points and Josh Pearson added 16 for the Panthers.

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