HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The middle seeds in this year’s varsity girls bracket faced off in Wednesday night’s first county tournament matchup and it was a heated battle between the Good Hope Lady Raiders and Lady Broncos of Holly Pond. After a tight first half, the Lady Raiders cranked things up on the defensive end and pulled away with a 56-43 win over Holly Pond to advance to the semifinals.
The Lady Broncos got off to a 5-0 start early in the opening quarter but Good Hope responded and cut the lead to 6-5 midway through the first with a three-pointer from Ivey Maddox. Holly Pond began to create more separation after that and a three from Sarah Finley made it 11-5 late in the period. A three from Kaylee Stallings then gave the Lady Broncos a 14-7 lead with less than a minute remaining in the first. Both teams managed to score in the final seconds of the period after Savanna Derrick turned a steal in two quick points and Finley drilled another three at the buzzer to put Holly Pond in front 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Raiders were able to cut into the lead early in the second and an impressive and-one finish by Bailey Tetro made it 19-17 early in the period. A basket by Quincey Marks gave the Lady Broncos a 25-22 advantage with just under four minutes to play in the half but a baseline floater from Heather Tetro made it a 1-point around the two-minute mark of the second quarter. Maddox scored off a steal to give Good Hope a 26-25 lead late in the period, but Finley answered with another three from the left corner to put Holly Pond back in front by two. Finley wasn’t done. She knocked down one more triple with less than a minute to play in the half to give the Lady Broncos a 31-27 lead at the break. Finley racked up 19 points in the opening half.
Holly Pond maintained a 33-28 lead early in the third quarter but another and-one play finished at the line by Bailey Tetro cut the lead to two with just under five minutes to play in the period. A floater by Maddox and a pair of free throws from Savannah Derrick gave the Lady Raiders a 35-33 lead midway through the third and back to back baskets from Bailey Tetro and Cayleigh Garmon made it a 39-33 game with just over two minutes to play in the quarter. Abby Neighbors laid one in under the basket to give Good Hope a 41-36 lead late in the third and the Lady Raiders led the way 42-38 going into the final frame.
A Heather Tetro basket stretched the lead to six at the start of the fourth quarter and Maddox buried another three from the right wing to make it a 47-39 game with six minutes remaining. A Stallings basket cut the lead to eight with just over five minutes to play but Maddox added three more points on the other end from the top of the key to give the Lady Raiders a 52-41 advantage. Two more buckets from Garmon and Maddox extended the lead to 56-43 with under two minutes to play and Good Hope held on to defeat the Lady Broncos 56-43. Holly Pond was held to just 10 points in the second half.
Ivey Maddox led the way for the Lady Raiders with 17 points in the win. Garmon finished with 13, Bailey Tetro added 12 and Heather Tetro and Derrick each posted five. Finley led all scorers with 22 points in the loss for the Lady Broncos. Elizabeth Miller added nine and Stallings finished with seven.
Good Hope will face the top-seeded Cold Springs Lady Eagles in the semifinals Thursday night at 6:15.
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