PREP BASKETBALL: Lady Eagles falls to Hatton 65-46 in NW Regional Semifinals

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Cold Springs’ Toni West (4) drives to the basket during the Lady Eagles’ 65-46 loss to Hatton Monday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. – The Cold Springs Lady Eagles returned home Monday night to host Hatton in the Northwest Regional Semifinals, but it was the road team that took control of this one early. The Lady Hornets jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the opening minutes of the contest and despite a strong effort from the Lady Eagles, Hatton was able to hold on and win it 65-46 on the road.

The Lady Hornets built a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the opening quarter and they stretched that lead to 17-0 midway through the period. A Brooke Crider basket ended the scoring drought for the Lady Eagles and made it 17-2 and Shay Sellers laid one in to make it a 22-4 game late in the first. Crider drained a three-pointer with 30 seconds on the clock to trim the lead to 24-7 but they went into the second quarter trailing Hatton 26-7.

Toni West converted an and-one play at the free throw line to cut into the lead at the start of the second and she drilled a three later in the period to make it a 33-13 game. The Lady Hornets maintained a comfortable distance between themselves and Cold Springs, but the Lady Eagles were able to chip away at the lead with a layup from Lacey Rice and four free throws from West and Crider that made it a 37-19 game. Another Sellers basket cut the lead to 37-21 with 30 seconds to play in the half but Hatton managed to get one more shot to fall before the buzzer and took a 39-21 advantage into the locker room at the break.

The Lady Hornets got off to another quick start in the third quarter but West scored seven straight points for Cold Springs to trim the lead to 45-28. Rice banked in a spinning layup to make it a 15-point game with five minutes remaining in the third. Hatton held onto a 47-32 lead with just over three minutes to play in the period but West knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 13. However, the Lady Hornets tightened up on the defensive end and took a 51-36 advantage into the final frame.

Another bucket from West made it a 53-38 game early in the fourth quarter and the senior point guard drilled a three-pointer to make it 58-41 with just over five minutes to play. Hatton pulled ahead 62-43 midway through the fourth, but it was a 62-46 game after West buried a deep three from the top of the key with two minutes on the clock. Unfortunately, that was all the offense the Lady Eagles were able to muster the rest of the way and the Lady Hornets held on to defeat Cold Springs 65-46.

West racked up a team-high 29 points in the loss. Crider posted seven, Rice added six and Sellers finished with four for the Lady Eagles. The loss brings another impressive season, that included another area championship, at 19-8 for Cold Springs.

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