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Hartselle Enquirer

Lady Bulldogs stun Danville in area tournament

Priceville eighth Grader Jenna Walker. | Caleb Suggs
Priceville eighth Grader Jenna Walker. | Caleb Suggs

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

She didn’t know exactly how well they had shot, but Priceville girl’s head coach Terrie Nelson knew that her girls had shot their free throws well. The Priceville Lady Bulldogs upset the Danville Lady Hawks in the first round of the area tournament on Tuesday February 7 at West Limestone, and the biggest reason why came down to free throw shooting and rebounding. Priceville finished 28 for 36 from behind the charity line, with most of their misses coming in the last few minutes as Danville continued to foul, and the Bulldogs outrebounded the Hawks 44-19. Not even a herculean effort from Danville star Tara Tuck could save the Hawks on this night.

Priceville took advantage early in the game when Kathleen Wheeler hit a three point shot to put the Bulldogs up 13-7. Four points by Tuck and a three point basket from McKayla Stover trimmed the lead to 17-14, but Lannah Johnson knocked in a three point shot just before the buzzer to make the Bulldog’s lead 20-14.

Priceville took even more control in the second quarter. Abby Hensley and Wheeler each notched three point plays to push their lead to 32-16, which was the biggest of the night. From there, Kayla Compton hit a basket that sparked 14-8 run by the Hawks. Danville cut the lead to 40-30 at halftime.

Danville finally woke up in the third quarter and worked their way back into the game. Emma Broadfoot nailed a three point shot and Jordan Hinkle scored a basket to cut the lead to 50-43. Tuck took over after that by hitting back to back three point shots, including a buzzer beater, to cut the lead to 57-55 as the Danville crowd erupted.

However, Danville’s lack of rebounding and Priceville’s superior free throwing shooting caught up with the Hawks in the second half. Wheeler started the quarter off with four points and the Hawks never recovered. Priceville protected their lead and went on to win the game 80-70. Kathleen Wheeler led the Bulldogs with 25 points while Abby Hensley had 18.

Priceville’s growth over the season is something that can’t be understated and it was on full display in the upset of Danville. “I couldn’t be more proud.” Head coach Nelson said. “They are just fighters and winners and they knew they would have to fight for all 32 minutes.” Priceville advanced to the area championship to face West Limestone. The Bulldogs also advanced to play in the sub-regionals despite the outcome in the area championship. Priceville sophomore Kathleen Wheeler scored her 1,000 career point during the win over the Hawks.

Danville finishes their season 21-7. Five year senior Tara Tuck was the leading scorer in the game with 35 points. Tuck will continue to play basketball in college at the University of Mobile. Danville’s other four starters, Kayla Compton, Jolee Cole, Callie Ryan and Jordan Hinkle will all return next year.