MOULTON — With 2½ minutes to play, Lawrence County High fans called it from the stands. Chanting “Wallace State” as seconds ticked away, the Red Devils did what they’ve done all season long: grind it out.
In the Class 5A Northwest Sub-Regional game, Lawrence County didn’t flinch, easily defeating Hartselle 50-27.
With the win, Lawrence County advances to the Northwest Regional tournament, where it will face Wenonah at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The Red Devils (25-6) controlled the game from the opening tip. They went on scoring runs of 11-3 and 11-0 to stay comfortably ahead of the Tigers throughout the contest.
The loss ended Hartselle’s season at 16-13.
“We see it through,” said senior forward Adrien Coffey, who recorded a double-double, with a game-high 17 points and 13 rebounds. “We were trying to get the team pumped up towards the end, and we got it.”
Lawrence County stayed calm when Hartselle scored seven points on the second attempt to come within one point halfway through the second quarter. Instead, Lawrence County rebounded and took advantage of free-throw opportunities.
“We’re more determined,” Coffey said of her team’s demeanor. “We’re just like ‘win, win, win, win.’ ”
Hartselle didn’t go without a fight, putting up a high-pressure man-to-man defense, posing a challenge and limiting freshman star Rachael Childress to four points.
“They were denying me the ball, so I was just trying to pass it,” Childress said.
Lawrence County’s dogged determination paid off on both sides of the court, as Hartselle was limited to five points in the fourth period. Quanesha Burks nailed a 3-point basket with a minute left on the clock, but by then, the outcome had been decided.
“I felt like the key to the game was coming out. We were either going to push it out, or they were going it keep it right there, nip and tuck,” Lawrence County coach Kenny Coffey said. “Once we kick it out, and we’re on our terms, we’re in good shape.”
Tori McDaniel scored 12 points with three steals, while Kheala Roberts added seven points.
Burks carried Hartselle with nine points.
Melissa Paul Hill added five.
As Lawrence County prepares for Tuesday, coach Coffey said playing at the next level will be a test for his players, who will all make first-time regional appearances.
“It’s going to be interesting to see, maturity-wise, how we handle that situation,” he said.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|