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Masyn Marchbanks tries to dribble past Priceville’s Jenna Walker in the second half of the Lady Tigers’ 49-41 victory on Senior Night. Special to the Enquirer/James Meadows

Lady Tigers take down the Lady Bulldogs in a battle of ranked teams

Meeting for the first time this season, 6A #4 Hartselle and 4A #2 Priceville were ready for their matchup. The last time the teams met, Hartselle upset the Lady Bulldogs in the 2020 Morgan County tournament.

The first half was tightly contested as the two ranked teams were getting a sense of who they were going into battle against. 

Priceville got the scoring started as Zoey Benson knocked down two free throws to give the Lady Bulldogs an early 2-0 lead. The Lady Tigers tied it up with two Lillyanna Cartee free throws. A few minutes later, with Hartselle holding a 4-3 lead, the Lady Bulldogs got back-to-back buckets by Katrina Rotermund and Western Kentucky signee Jenna Walker to take a 7-4 lead. The Lady Tigers answered back with a 5-0 run as Cartee knocked down a three-pointer, and Masyn Marchbanks converted a Priceville turnover into two points. A Walker basket made it 9-9 going to the second quarter.

The Lady Tigers scored the first four points of the second quarter with Alyssa McMinemon and Cartee’s buckets. The Lady Bulldogs answered back with a 5-0 run with two free throws by Natalie Cartee and a three-pointer by Olivia Gann to take a 14-13 lead. A Maggie McCleskey three-pointer followed by two L. Cartee free throws gave Hartselle an 18-14 lead. Tia Lambert hit a three-pointer and got a rebound and a putback to give Priceville a 19-18 lead. With time running out in the first half, Marchbanks nailed a 12-foot jumper to give the Lady Tigers a 20-19 lead heading into halftime.

The Lady Tigers dominated the third quarter on both ends of the floor. They knocked down four three-pointers on their way to outscoring Priceville 18-9. Marchbanks hit three three-pointers to account for all nine of her points in the quarter. Cartee hit the other Lady Tiger three-pointer to give them their largest lead of the game at 35-24. Walker scored six points for the Lady Bulldogs, who trailed 38-38 going to the final quarter.

The teams opened the fourth quarter trading baskets as the Lady Tigers clung to a 44-34 lead. Two Abigail Garrison free throws and a Rotermund layup cut the Hartselle lead to 44-38. Marchbanks scored five straight to push the Lady Tigers’ lead back to eleven at 49-38. Walker’s three-pointer before the buzzer made the final score 49-41.

Marchbanks finished with 20 points and seven rebounds to lead Hartselle (20-2). Cartee added 16 points, eight rebounds, and five steals.

Walker had 15 points to lead Priceville (20-8), while Benson finished with seven points and eight rebounds.