PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Bearcats drop area matchup to Muscle Shoals

Cullman’s Ava McSwain (2) led the Lady Bearcats with 13 points in their 52-42 loss to Muscle Shoals Tuesday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Lady Bearcats were back home Tuesday night and hosting an area showdown against Muscle Shoals Lady Trojans. Despite playing a tough, physical game against the Lady Trojans, Cullman couldn’t get enough shots to fall and fell at home 52-42.

Jaden Winfrey got the game started with a steal and an easy layup to make it 2-0 but Muscle Shoals put together an imposing scoring run throughout the rest of the quarter. The Lady ‘Cats fell behind 9-2 midway through the opening period and the run continued until Maci Brown knocked down a three-pointer to make it a 14-5 game. The Lady Trojans responded with a basket on the other end and went into the second quarter leading the way 16-5.

A Regan Quattlebaum jumper trimmed the lead to 19-8 early in the second and Ava McSwain scored inside to make it 21-10. McSwain buried a three-pointer to cut the lead to eight and an Ella Collum three made it a 21-16 game with three minutes to play in the first half. However, Muscle Shoals was able to end the quarter on a 4-0 run and went into the locker room with a 25-16 advantage at the break.

Another three-pointer from Brown cut the lead to 27-20 early in the third quarter and a Winfrey basket kept the Lady Bearcats within seven as the period progressed. A 6-0 run allowed the Lady Trojans to extend their lead, but Winfrey added another bucket and a three to cut into the lead late in the third. McSwain kept the momentum going for Cullman with a shot just before the buzzer and the Lady Bearcats went into the fourth trailing just 37-29.

Winfrey and McSwain each scored again early in the fourth quarter to hold the lead to eight, but the Lady Trojans took advantage of offensive rebounds and second chance points all night to keep Cullman at arm’s length. Quattlebaum converted a three-point play at the free throw line to trim the lead to 46-37 midway through the period and a McSwain three brought the lead down to six at one point but a 6-2 run to end the game secured the area road win for Muscle Shoals.

McSwain led Cullman with 13 points in the loss. Winfrey posted 11, Brown added eight, Quattlebaum finished with seven and Collum scored three. The Lady Bearcats will be on the road Thursday night looking to bounce back against the Lady Tigers of Hartselle.

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