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Hartselle Enquirer

Priceville heads to regionals

By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
PRICEVILLE - The gameplan was simple: stop East Lawrence’s Sarah Torain to advance to the Class 4A Northwest Regionals.
The Lady Bulldogs stopped Torain cold after the East Lawrence standout scored six first-half points to claim a 75-48 sub-regional win Thursday at home. With the win, Priceville claimed its first appearance in the regional tournament since 2005 when Priceville was competing in Class 2A.
East Lawrence’s Sarah Torain finished with a team-high 13 points, but all of her points came in the first half as East Lawrence built up an early lead of as much as 10 points. The Lady Bulldogs got tough defensively and made sure Torain had little impact in the second half.
Torain scored all of her points in the first half as East Lawrence built up a 10-point lead as Priceville was unable to keep the ball from the Lady Eagles’ star.
But when Priceville adapted to stop her left-handed drive, the game’s tempo changed. After double-teamming Torain, the Lady Eagles limited East Lawrence to just one point in the second quarter.
Priceville improved to 20-10 overall with the win in front of a raucous home crowd.
Priceville will face Rogers at 9 a.m. Thursday at Wallace State-Hanceville’s Tom Drake Coliseum in the Northwest Regional semifinals.
The Lady Bulldogs’ run won’t end. Instead, they will face a Rogers team that easily beat Dora 79-38 in the sub-regionals.
Torain scored 13 of East Lawrence’s 32 first-half points.
East Lawrence scored 12 of the game’s first 16 points and posted a double-digit lead in the first quarter until Keila Hamlin scored on a drive with 23 seconds left in the period.
Hamlin kept the Lady Bulldogs close with six points in the first two minutes of the second quarter, but Torain scored with 5:46 left in the half to keep the Lady Eagles in front 25-18.
Then Priceville’s pressing defense kicked in.
The Lady Bulldogs shut down East Lawrence’s inside game and went on an impressive 20-7 ran that helped Priceville vault into a 38-32 lead at the half.
Since early in January, Priceville has had a big quarter of 20 points or more in every game but one, including a 29-point first quarter against Columbia several weeks ago. But none were more important than the Lady Bulldogs’ 26-point second quarter Thursday.
Priceville carried this run into the second half, outscoring East Lawrence 15-1 in the third quarter. East Lawrence’s only point during the quarter came when Mosley hit the second of two free throws midway through the period.
And by the time Mosley scored East Lawrence’s first basket of the second half with 6:31 remaining in the game, Priceville had already built up a devastating 57-33 advantage.
Priceville’s lead grew to 26 points after a technical foul on the East Lawrence bench as the Lady Eagles’ offensive frustrations mounted. East Lawrence had just three points in the final three minutes of the game before getting a late 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Priceville was 22-of-26 from the free throw line.
Darling led Priceville with 22 points. The sophomore was 10-of-10 from the free throw line.
Keila Hamlin added 20 points with the help of an 8-of-8 night at the free throw line.
Bionca Mosley added 12 points and Jayda Terry finished with 11 points in the season-ending loss.