Daily photo by Emily Saunders|
LaKendra Wright (33) scores despite being fouled by Liz Odom of Haleyville. The Lady Lions won 64-48 in the Northwest Regional semifinal game at Wallace State-Hanceville on Thursday.
Lady Lions scratch off East Lawrence
Haleyville runs to early lead to beat Lady Eagles
By Brooke Milam
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HANCEVILLE — Through the course of the season, Haleyville's girls basketball team got quicker. It got tougher. And as a result, the Lady Lions ended East Lawrence's season in the Northwest Regional semifinal round Thursday.
The Lady Eagles had beaten Haleyville the first game of the season but said they saw a much-improved Lady Lions team, which beat them 64-48 at Wallace State-Hanceville.
"Haleyville wanted it. They wanted it bad, and the best team won today," said first-year East Lawrence coach Candace Byrd. "They played much quicker than the last time we played them."
East Lawrence finished its season 16-14, while Haleyville improved to 24-5, advancing to face defending champion Deshler in the finals Saturday at 12:20 p.m.
Deshler was an 80-66 winner over Lawrence County in the other girls Class 4A semifinal game.
East Lawrence wanted to play at its usual fast pace against Haleyville and senior LaKendra Wright said the Lady Eagles knew what they had to do to win: "Get back and push the ball."
But Thursday, "We didn't get back," she said.
The results were made layups and easy baskets for the Lady Lions, who were shooting 65 percent from the field in the first half and 59 percent for the game.
"Emily (Taylor) usually hits me with the fast break and we've mostly been doing that all year," Haleyville's Logan Tedder said.
Tedder had 13 points and three steals for Haleyville, while Taylor and Katti Miller led the Lady Lions in scoring with 14 points each.
It helped Haleyville to an 18-13 lead after the first quarter and a 39-23 halftime advantage.
"We came out very flat," Byrd said. "My girls couldn't get the hang of the basketball today and that happens sometimes."
East Lawrence outscored Haleyville 14-13 in the third quarter, cutting Haleyville's lead to five points.
"We had a bad third quarter," Haleyville coach Stacie Temple said.
With Haleyville ahead 52-37 after three quarters, East Lawrence came as close as eight points in the fourth.
East Lawrence's Paige Hood led all scorers with 18 points and added five rebounds and two blocked shots. "They've got a good team and they're well-coached," Temple said. "...We're happy to be in the finals. We made it to the regionals two years ago and lost in the first round, so we're happy to be back."
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