Free throws spark Priceville to victory over HartsellePublished 11:09am Wednesday, January 26, 2011
TRINITY – A lengthy free throw session may have been just what the Priceville Lady Bulldogs needed in the opening varsity girls’ game of the Morgan County Tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs made 34 of 40 free throws in a 64-55 victory over Hartselle at West Morgan High School.
“We had a good shoot-around and I wouldn’t let (the players) leave the gym until they had hit 80 percent of their free throws,” said Priceville head coach Catrina Mason. “We ended up shooting 85 percent in the game and that was the key for us.”
With a lineup loaded with seniors, Priceville was able to hold off the younger Hartselle team, according to Mason. “I think our six seniors played big,” she said. “This was really a big win for them. They’ve lost in the first round since they’ve been playing on the varsity.”
Presley Darling was dominating inside with 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
The senior post player made seven of her 13 shots from the field and was 13 of 16 from the free throw line as Priceville avenged a two-point loss to Hartselle.
Sidney McLendon added 12 points with nine rebounds, while Amber Smith and Morgan Ponder both finished with 11 points for Priceville.
Molly Thompson also chipped in with nine rebounds.
Hartselle’s Kanesia Elliott scored 15 points to pace the Lady Tigers. Quanesha Burks added 11 points.
Hartselle shot just 32 percent from the field against Priceville’s tall lineup.
“Some of those shots that we missed were uncontested, but a lot were shots that Priceville changed the shot with their height advantage,” said Hartselle head coach Gary Orr. “Some of them, though, we just plain missed.”
West Morgan 41, Priceville 31
West Morgan’s Trey Kent got hot just about the time the Rebels needed him the most.
Kent scored a game-high 11 points – all coming in the second half – to lead West Morgan to a 41-31 victory over Priceville in the first round of the Morgan County Tournament Monday.
Karrington Gholston, William Jackson and Patrick Gray all chipped in with five points each for the Rebels.
West Morgan advanced to the semifinals Thursday where the Rebels will take on top-seeded Danville at 7:45 p.m.
Priceville’s Kalieb Gibson finished with nine points with three 3-pointers in the second half.
Matt Teague added seven points for the Bulldogs.
West Morgan scored just 14 points in the first half and held on to a slim five-point advantage going into the third quarter.
Priceville caught fire during a 2:20 stretch of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24-24.
The Bullogs took their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter at 27-26 when John Hawkins hit a 3-pointer.
West Morgan answered with a 3-pointer from Gray and a basket by Antonio Little to regain the lead.
Priceville managed to get within a point in the final four minutes before West Morgan pulled away for the win.