ROGERSVILLE — Red Bay head coach Donnie Roberts knows championship-caliber teams find ways to overcome adversity in big games. His Class 2A No. 7 Tigers did just that Friday, rallying from a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to edge Clements 47-44 in overtime.
“Every team is going to be in those situations once in a while,” Roberts said. “It makes for a good team to be able to come out on top. This win really gives us a lot of confidence.”
Clements held a 40-27 lead heading into the final period. That’s when Kasey Sparks took over, scoring 12 of her game-high 18 points. The junior keyed a 15-2 run to tie the game at 42 in the final minute.
Clements, however, had one last answer. DaNeshia Malone scored her 17th point with 45 seconds remaining to give the Colts the lead once again.
Sparks hit a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds to play, and the Red Bay defense held to force overtime.
In the extra period, Red Bay got a defensive rebound on the opening possession and held the ball at the 3:21 mark. The Tigers kept possession until the final minute when Sparks connected on a runner with 25 seconds remaining. A steal by Lexi Lindsey at the other end and one more free throw from Sparks accounted for the final score.
“Kasey had a big game tonight and I am proud of her,” Roberts said. “We had some trouble blocking out in the first half but we were able to recover.”
Sparks echoed her coach.
“We knew it was just a matter of blocking out and rebounding,” she said. “Everyone on the team knew we could come back and win.”
Carlee Berry added 13 points for the Tigers, who will play Class 3A No. 1 Lauderdale County in tonight’s championship game.
Malone led Clements with 17 points, but was held to only four in the fourth quarter.
n Lauderdale County 64, Belmont (Miss.) 47: Lauderdale County took control early and never let up in a rout of Belmont. Chatara Cox scored 12 of her game-high 23 points in the first quarter as the Tigers raced out to a 19-3 lead.
LCHS led 38-18 at the half and never let the Cardinals back in the game. Emma Wallen also reached double digits in scoring for the Tigers with 11 points on the evening.
Belmont had three players reach double figures, including Masha Menshcikova’s team-best 16 points.
n West Limestone 56, Central 36: West Limestone got contributions from nine different players in a win against Central. WLHS advances to the upper division title game, while the loss sends the Wildcats to a Saturday afternoon elimination game against Lee.
West Limestone wasted little time taking control, grabbing a 13-9 lead in the first quarter. The lead was 27-20 at the half before a 16-10 third-quarter run put the game out of reach.
Kayla Carter hit three three-pointers and finished with 15 points to lead West Limestone. Abby Keener score 10 of her team-high 15 points in the second half to lead Central.
n East Limestone 72, Lee 67: In a back-and-forth affair, East Limestone was able to hold on for a win to remain unbeaten in the upper division. After trailing 20-19 after one quarter and 54-51 after three, the Indians used a 21-13 spurt in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Brennan Crabtree turned in a game-high 26 points for ELHS.
n Brooks 54, Florence 53 (OT): K’maya Roach scored all five points in overtime as Brooks eliminated Florence from the upper division. Roach, who finished with a game-high 21-points, connected on a pair of baskets and a free throw to keep Brooks alive.
Florence led 27-24 at the half, but regulation ended with the score tied at 49.
Erin Jewell and Deanna Thompson added 12 points each for Brooks. All four overtime points for Florence came from Emily Towery, who finished with 19 points. Alexis Sherrod added 12 points.
n Brooks 35, Rogers 24: Brooks used a solid defensive performance to beat Rogers. The Lions held the Pirates to 10 field goals the entire game in the win.
Jewell was the only player in the game to reach double figures, netting 10 points for Brooks.
n Woodland 59, Decatur Heritage 28: In a lower division elimination game, Woodland jumped out to a 22-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back in the 31-point victory over Decatur Heritage. Leah Strain score 12 points, while Jaide Walker tossed in 11 points to lead Woodland.
n Lexington 50, Deshler 42: Haven Albright connected on a trio of three-point baskets and finished with 24 points to lead Lexington (15-3) past Deshler in an elimination game. Savannah Stults added 12 points.
Lauren Cantrell led Deshler with 13 points.
n Tanner 40, Wilson 39: Victoria Waite’s only two points of the game came at a big time for Tanner. The senior sank two fourth-quarter free throws that proved to be the winning margin as the Rattlers edged Wilson in an upper division elimination game.
Ciarra Edwards led the Warriors with 20 points, but scored only five in the second half as Tanner rallied from a 20-16 deficit at the break. Ashley Arreola added 12 points for Wilson, while Sydney Houston’s 16 points led Tanner.
n Mars Hill 50, Tanner 45 (2OT): Mars Hill used a 9-4 spurt in the second overtime to pull away from Tanner.
The score was tied at 37 at the end of regulation and 41 after the first overtime period.
Mary Brooke Willis scored 16 points, while Carley Harrison added 14 points for the Panthers, who advance to play Brooks in the fifth-place game.
n Woodland 85, Sheffield 19: Class 2A’s top-ranked Woodland raced out to a 22-6 first-quarter lead and cruised past Sheffield.
Jaide Walker led the Bobcats with 30 points. Leah Strain (12 points) and Shanna Strain (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring for Woodland.
Sheffield was led by Tatyana King’s seven points.
n Lexington 44, Hatton 29: Lexington got a trio of three-point baskets from Haven Albright in a win over Hatton.
The Golden Bears led 19-6 after the first quarter and nursed a 32-21 lead heading into the final period.
Albright finished with a game-high 17 points, while Savannah Stults added 16 points for the Golden Bears. Mariah Cantrell led Hatton with eight points.