HANCEVILLE, Ala. – The top two teams in Class 4A clashed in a physical Northwest Regional Semifinals matchup Monday afternoon and it was another classic battle between Deshler and the Lady Raiders of Good Hope. The Lady Raiders trailed by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter but rallied to cut the deficit to three late in the final period. Unfortunately, the late push fell just short of tying the game and Deshler held on to defeat Good Hope 63-60.
Lady Raiders Head Coach Justin Aby wasn’t surprised to see his team climb back in the fourth quarter and praised the competitiveness his squad has shown all season.
“Our girls battled, and we just came up short. I don’t know how many points we were down at one time and we battled back to cut it to three so I was proud of their effort and proud of the way they battled back. It’s just a tough way to go out,” Aby said. “These girls battle, they fight. They’ve done that all year. Our schedule this year was tougher than it’s ever been, and we played some of the top teams in the state so there’s no question that they came to fight.”
Rudi Derrick laid one in to tie the game at 2 early in the opening period and Heather Tetro followed her with a three-pointer to put Good Hope in front 5-2. Bailey Tetro drove to the rim and scored to give the Lady Raiders a7-5 lead midway through the first and Ivey Maddox sank a pair of free throws to make it 9-5. Heather Tetro’s second three of the game stretched the lead to 12-7 late in the first quarter but a 6-1 run by Deshler tied the score at 13 going into the second.
The Lady Tigers knocked down a three-pointer to take a 16-13 lead at the start of the second quarter but a basket by Maddox and a free throw from Derrick tied things back up at 16. Maddox drained a three to give the Lady Raiders a 19-18 lead with five minutes to play in the opening half and after another Deshler three-pointer on the other end, Bailey Tetro found Derrick under the basket for a layup to tie the game at 21. The Lady Tigers responded with a 5-0 run to take a 26-21 lead but Charly Johnson scored laid one in just before the end of the period to cut the lead to 26-23 at the halftime break.
Deshler extended its lead to 29-24 early in the third quarter but Bailey Tetro split a pair of free throws and Heather Tetro knocked down another three-pointer to make it a 29-27 game. However, a 10-2 run by the Lady Tigers extended the lead to 39-29 with just over five minutes to play in the third. Bailey Tetro buried a three from the left corner to make it a 39-32 game midway through the period and after Johnson collected another basket inside the paint, Heather Tetro’s fourth three-pointer of the night trimmed the lead to 46-37. Maddox dropped in a running floater to make it a 52-39 game in the final minute of the third, but the Lady Raiders went into the fourth trailing Deshler 55-39.
Baskets by Maddox and Johnson cut the lead to 57-43 early in the fourth quarter and after netting a pair of free throws, Heather Tetro drained another three to make it a 61-48 game. Maddox hit four straight from the free throw line to trim the lead to 61-52 with five minutes on the clock and she followed them with a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 61-55. Bailey Tetro drove in and scored to make it a 4-point game with just under three minutes to play and Johnson drew a charge on the other end to keep the momentum going the Lady Raiders. A Deshler free throw put the Lady Tigers up 62-57 but Maddox answered with a basket on the other end to make it a 3-point game with 50 seconds remaining. Good Hope got a look at a game-tying three with 20 seconds on the clock but it bounced just off the front of the rim and Deshler went back to the free throw line. The Lady Tigers split the foul shots to go up four and Derrick drew a foul to go to the line on the other end but with less than a second still on the clock, the Lady Raiders ran out of time and dropped a heartbreaker to Deshler 63-60.
Maddox led Good Hope with 21 points in the loss, followed by Heather Tetro with 19. Bailey Tetro posted eight points and Derrick and Johnson each added six.
The Lady Raiders finish the season with an impressive record 31-3 and with just two seniors (Rudi Derrick and Bailey Keef) set to graduate in May, they’ll have a lot of familiar faces returning to the hardwood next season.
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