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Lady Lion win looks good in 13A

Lady Lion win looks good in 13A

Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:00 pm

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Press Sports
While it may’ve not been the most sightly or artistic victory, don’t expect Dresden girls’ coach Jonathan West to give back his team’s 43-37 triumph over West Carroll Friday night.
“Any district win is huge — no matter how it looks — because we’re fighting for positioning,” the Lady Lion coach said after his team improved to 7-2 in 13A play to stay on the heels of league front-runners Huntingdon and Gleason. “This puts us a game ahead of them (West Carroll), and it was a huge swing because if they would’ve beaten us, they not only would’ve been ahead of us, but also would own the head-to-head if we were tied because they would have beaten us twice.
“We obviously want to finish as high as we can for a better seed in the tournament.”
Dresden (12-4 overall) can further enhance its status tonight when it plays at Huntingdon, looking for a season sweep of the Fillies.
The Lion boys, meanwhile, missed out on a chance to move up the district ladder when they were beaten 52-47 by WC Friday.
Dresden (9-6, 6-3) could’ve moved into second place behind league-leading McKenzie by beating the War Eagles for the second time in as many meetings, but saw a late rally fall short.
“I just didn’t think we played with a sense of urgency,” Lion skipper Tommy Dilday said afterward. “We’ve had several seniors the last couple of years, and we’re having to play some underclassmen this year.
“I’m not sure that they understand how critical it is to do good things from the beginning, rather than waiting until we’re down and have to fight back.”
In addition to the aforementioned games at Huntingdon this week, Dresden also plays host to Big Sandy on Friday.
Dresden 43, WC 37 (G)
Having struggled against the athleticism and size of West Carroll in the first half in which they trailed entirely, the Lady Lions mounted their best stretch over the final two periods to rally to a split of the season series with the War Eagle girls.
Amy McAlpin (20) and Carrie Hatchel (17) combined for all but six of Dresden’s points and had 21 of the team’s 23 between them in the second half.
After McAlpin made a 3-pointer and then negotiated her way inside for a deuce to tie the game at 27 with just over two minutes to play in the third quarter, Hatchel’s steal and layup gave the Lady Lions their first lead a half minute later. It was 29-all heading into the stretch run.
McAlpin’s two free throws with 6:52 to play put DHS up for good (33-31) and she then followed with another triple to expand that advantage. Two charity tosses by freshman Hailey Browning capped a run of nine straight markers and gave the host team the first of two seven-point leads — their biggest of the night.
There were some tense moments still, though, as McAlpin fouled out with 2:59 to go and a 3-pointer by WC’s Tierra Williams cut the difference to 40-37 with 1:41 showing.
But Hatchel — after first missing the front end of a one-and-one foul line chance — then made 3-of-4 charities in the final 35 seconds to lock up the victory.
“It was big the way we finished,” West added. “When Amy (McAlpin) fouled out, we finished with three freshmen on the floor. We have to start getting some scoring out of people other than McAlpin and Hatchel. We have some kids who are capable, but they don’t have lot of confidence or game experience right now.
“We did better job attacking in the second half. We missed four layups in the first half and we didn’t guard them very well either in the first two quarters. “In the second half, we took the challenge.”
WC 52, Dresden 47 (B)
After trailing by as many as 11 (33-22 at halftime), the Lions gradually battled back and gave themselves a chance at the end before a pair of turnovers on their final two possessions sealed their final fate.
Austin Maxey made one of his four 3-pointers just before the end of the third period to get Dresden within 37-31, then drained another with 2:30 to play to make it 46-40. A deuce by Austin Daniel inside a minute later cut another two points off the deficit, and Brock Dilday sank first a trey, then two free throws with 18 seconds showing to make it 48-47.
The Lions then had a chance to complete an unlikely comeback when West Carroll’s Jamal Glenn missed the front end of a one-and-one. A turnover on an interior entry pass, though, forced Dresden to foul and Latrell Huff hit two foul shots with seven seconds left to make it 50-47. Huff then snuffed out the rally himself by stealing the ensuring inbounds pass and sinking a layup as time expired for the final margin.
“I do think we did some good things down the stretch that gave us the opportunity we had at the end,” Dilday continued. “We need to do those throughout the game and not just when our backs are against the wall though.”
Dilday had 15 points and Maxey and Daniel tallied 14 apiece to top the Lion scoresheet.

Published in The Press 1.15.13

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