HANCEVILLE -- R.A. Hubbard held off a late Falkville push, even with standout senior Alex Gholston on the bench during pivotal minutes during the fourth quarter, to claim a 61-51 win this afternoon in a Class 1A girls basketball semifinal at the Northwest Regional tournament.
The Chiefs (20-5) advance to the final to play tonight's Shoals Christian-Lynn winner Saturday at 9 a.m. at Wallace State-Hanceville's Tom Drake Coliseum. The winner advances to the state final four in Birmingham.
Trailing by double digits since the first quarter, Falkville (20-4) pulled within nine points, 43-34 with 6:03 to play.
But with Gholston on the bench with four fouls, the Chiefs responded with three straight baskets, pushing the lead back out to 15. Falkville, which lost leading scorer Sydney Moore to an ankle injury with 3:43 to play, never came within single digits the rest of the way.
Gholston led all scorers with 27 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
Moore and Autumn Eddy had 13 each to lead Falkville.
The Chiefs also played the final 3:27 of the first half without Gholston but still led Falkville 29-18 at halftime.
Gholston suffered a bloody nose after taking a shot during a drive to the basket and left the game. She returned for the halftime shoot-around with her teammates and started the second half.
Falkville fell into an early hole, shot 1-of-12 in the first quarter and struggled against Hubbard's pressure defense.
Hubbard led by as much as 28-12 before Gholston left the game in the first half.