The Lady Tigers closed to within a bucket in the fourth quarter of their game in the Region 5-AAA tournament, but the Lady Mountaineers beat back the challenge to take a 49-44 victory in a game that was hotly contested from the opening tipoff.
The Adairsville Tigers fell behind early in their game with North Murray and couldn’t put together enough favorable runs to snatch a win in the region tournament played at Sonoraville.
North Murray 49, Lady Tigers 44
North Murray grabbed a 10-8 lead in the first quarter of play and then stretched that lead in the second frame with a 15-12 run. It held a 25-20 lead at the break.
The two teams opened the second half in a defensive mood and North Murray added a single point to their differential for a 32-26 lead.
Adairsville tried to reverse the scoring order in the final period but its best effort pulled the Lady Tigers within two points and they were unable to improve on that position.
Coach Meredith Barnhill said the Lady Tigers made her proud with their play.
“We shot the ball pretty well and we executed our defensive plan about as well as we could,” Barnhill said. “Our girls came ready to play. They knew what we had to do and were very excited and stayed in the moment. I couldn’t be prouder of their effort in this game.”
The game closes the books on Adairsville’s season and the coach said the Lady Tigers were playing their best ball at the end.
“This was a great game to watch, a fun game to play, and a good game to coach,” she said. “We were able to cut the lead to two points in the fourth quarter, but we just couldn’t get it the rest of the way.”
She said the Lady Tigers took great strides in basketball this season.
“From the beginning of the season we have made improvement in just about every area,” she said. “We got better at executing our game plan. Our offense improved, and we have a better understanding of the game and are more consistent in our play.
“Tonight we played 32 minutes, and last night we played hard for 32 minutes. We did what we needed to do better as the year progressed.”
Scoring for Adairsville were Mallory Bramblett, 12 points; Cassidy Howren, 12; Stephanie Kuhrt, 11; Julia Roberson, 3; Taylor Weeks, 3; Victoria Davis, 2; Kelsy Hice, 1.
Adairsville fell to 12-15 with the loss.
North Murray improved to 16-10 overall.
North Murray 66, Tigers 40
North Murray started fast against Adairsville and forced the Tigers to play catch-up on the Mountaineers’ way to a 66-40 victory.
The Mountaineers rushed out of the starting gate and ran up a 23-8 lead after a quarter of play. North Murray widened that lead to 39-17 in the second quarter and to 60-33 after three full quarters.
Adairsville chopped seven points off that lead with a 13-6 run in the final period.
“North Murray was just a lot better than we were tonight,” coach Kent Howard said. “Our guys played hard but they were not sharp and it was disappointing.
“But I still love my guys and there’s no one in the world I’d rather coach than them. They fought to the end but we couldn’t get the result we wanted.”
Adairsville’s seniors played the final quarter and outscored their opponents.
“Our five seniors played the final period and I asked them to finish as they’d started and they made us proud,” Howard added.
Austin Greenfield led Adairsville in scoring with 14 points while Tyler Washington dropped in 8.
Adairsville finished the year with a 10-16 record overall while North Murray improved to 20-6.