HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The varsity girls’ semifinals were on tap at Tom Drake Coliseum Thursday night and we tipped things off with a clash between the top-seeded Fairview Lady Aggies and the fourth-seeded Lady Raiders of Good Hope. Fairview applied the pressure on the defensive end all night and after holing the Lady Raiders to just 18 points in the first half, the Lady Aggies pulled away to take the semifinal battle 54-38.
A three-pointer from Emma Garcia gave the Lady Aggies a 3-0 lead to start the game and after Rudi Derrick scored an easy basket in transition, Garcia drilled another three to make it a 6-2 game with five minutes to play in the first. Maddie Yeager pulled down an offensive board and laid it in to give Fairview an 8-2 lead midway through the period but a three from Bailey Tetro on the other end made it an 8-5 game. Daisy Manasco converted an and-one play at the line to put the Lady Aggies back in front 11-5 but Derrick answered with a bucket on the other end to make it a 4-point game. Garcia knocked down her third trey of the period to extend the lead to 14-7 with two minutes remaining in the first and Manasco scored off a turnover to make it 16-7. Manasco and Derrick traded buckets to make it an 18-9 game and Molly McKelvy nailed a three-pointer give Fairview a 21-9 lead late in the opening quarter. Derrick hit a three for the Lady Raiders to cut into the lead in the final moments of the first and Good Hope went into the second quarter trailing 21-12.
Another McKelvy three from the left wing made it a 24-12 game with five minutes to play in the first half and Yeager drained another three-pointer for the Lady Aggies to stretch the lead to 27-12 midway through the second. Derrick laid one in to cut the lead to 13 but McKelvy netted another three from the top of the key to make it 30-14 with two minutes remaining in the period. Jacy Gorham knocked down a corner three to add to the Fairview lead late in the second and Morgan Lindsay dropped in a floater to make it a 35-16 game. Charly Johnson banked one in for the Lady Raiders just before the buzzer, but the Lady Aggies went into the locker room with a commanding, 35-18 lead at the half.
Derrick got things started in the second half with a three-pointer from Derrick that trimmed the lead to 35-21 and she laid one in later in the period to make it a 12-point game. Bailey Tetro scored four straight points for Good Hope to cut the lead to 36-27 midway through the third and a Heather Tetro basket brough the lead down to seven. A pair of Jayla Gorham free throws gave Fairview a 38-29 advantage with less than two minutes to play in the third and she laid one in on the next Lady Aggies’ possession to extend the lead to 40-29. Ivey Maddox scored inside to cut into the lead late in the period and the Lady Raiders went into the final frame trailing Fairview 40-31.
McKelvy knocked down another three to give the Lady Aggies a 43-32 lead at the start of the fourth and Yeager laid one in to make it a 13-point game. Derrick scored on the other end to make it 45-34 but Manasco found Garcia with a nice pass under the basket and she laid it in to put Fairview back up 47-34 with five minutes to play. A pair of McKelvy free throws added to the Lady Aggies’ lead midway through the fourth and she scored inside the paint later in the quarter to make it a 51-38 game with three minutes on the clock. McKelvy continued to help Fairview pull away, drilling another three to build the lead to 54-38 and the Lady Raiders were unable to overcome the deficit. The Lady Aggies held on to win it over Good Hope 54-38, punching their ticket to the varsity girls’ county championship game Saturday.
McKelvy led the way for Fairview with 19 points in the win, followed by Garcia with 12, Manasco with seven and Yeager with five. Derrick led the Lady Raiders with 18 points in the loss and Bailey Tetro added seven.
The Lady Aggies will play either West Point or Cold Springs in the varsity girls’ finals Saturday at 5:20 p.m. at Tome Drake Coliseum.
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