‘Hall’ start good for Lady Lions

‘Hall’ start good for Lady Lions

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:02 pm

By RANDY CAVIN
Press Sports Writer
The 2011-12 basketball season got under way for the Dresden basketball teams Tuesday night at Dresden with the teams earning a split with the Henry County Patriots.
The Lady Lions took care of business by winning the opener 67-53, while the boys dropped their game 66-53 in the nightcap.
In the opener, freshman guard Carrie Hatchel provided the spark in the first half, scoring all of her 15 points for the game, including eight straight in the first period with the help of a pair threes. She scored seven more points in the second period on her third three-pointer and going four-from-six from the charity stripe.
The Lady Lions led by a slim margin of 18-16 after the first period, but got things going in the second and built a seven-point lead by halftime with a score of 37-30. The Lady Lions hit five three-pointers in the opening half and hit 16-of-21 from the free-throw line.
Although the Lady Lions led by seven at the half and built up the lead in the second half, they found themselves in foul trouble in the first half. Overall, though, Dresden head coach Jonathan West was pleased with the performance of his team for the first game of the season.
“I feel like we played really well. The big thing that I was really proud of was we got in some bad foul trouble with two of our three real experienced players and we had to play some players who have not played much before in the first half and we scored 37 points,” West said.
Senior guards Jessica Jones and Kristen Childress found themselves in early foul trouble in the first half and spent some time on bench. Both had three fouls in the opening half and the Lady Lions committed nine fouls in the half and 14 for the game. The Lady Patriots also had foul trouble, committing 19 team fouls for the game. Dresden shot 23-of-30 from the line.
The Lady Lions opened the game up in the second half, building a 10-point lead at the end of the third period with a 51-41 score and continued to build on that in the fourth thanks to the hot shooting of sophomore guard Amy McAlpin and Jones. McAlpin poured in 14 points in the second half and led all scorers with 25. Jones also scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half.
Henry County was led by Cher’ron Teague’s 23 points. She was the only player to hit double figures for the Lady Patriots.
In the nightcap, it was a different story for the boys as they found themselves undermanned, only dressing out nine players.
The Lions were missing two key players in seniors Gatlin Hatchel and Tyler McPeak. They sat out the game as they are getting prepared for their football playoff game Friday night. Senior Joseph Sipes spent a lot of the game on the bench with four fouls.
“Our only player with any varsity experience sat on the bench for most of the game with foul trouble. So that kind of limited us even more. We have a couple of kids who are difference-makers for us who has played a lot of basketball. They are our point guard and center (Hatchel and McPeak), who has started for three years,” head coach Tommy Dilday said. “Obviously they change our team and we lost six seniors last year to graduation.”
The Lions had three players in double figures, but they found themselves in a hole early in the game. The Patriots led 17-9 at the end of the first period, but the Lions fought back in the second, outscoring the Patriots 20-16 to pull within four at the half with a score of 33-29.
The Lions only hit five field goals in the second period, but they were helped out by the Patriots sending them to the foul line 11 times. The Lions hit 10 of the 11 shots.
The Patriots had the hot hand in the game, hitting seven 3-pointers and taking advantage of several fast break opportunities in the game.
Henry County had three players in double figures with junior guard Amairi Cook scoring 22 points and senior guard Blane Houston scoring 19.
Shaquille Hayes of the Patriots scored 12 of his 15 in the second half to help Henry County open the game up. By the end of the third period, the Patriots had a 12 point lead with a score of 50-38 and out-scored the Lions 17-9.
The Lions played tough in the final period, by swapping baskets with the Patriots, but they could not inch any closer in the period. Kourtney Sawyer helped the Lions keep pace with Henry County, scoring six of his 11 point in the period.
Dresden will play Trenton Saturday at West Carroll as part of the TSSAA Hall of Champions games, which are taking place across the state. Both squads will be playing with tip-off set at 3 p.m. Published in The WCP 11.17.11

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