Lady Tigers outlast Belmont for 50-45 victory
BELMONT – The Red Bay varsity girls basketball team had a fight on its hands Thursday as it traveled across the state line to battle Belmont.
After jumping out to a 22-9 lead in the second quarter, the Lady Tigers had to hold off a late attack by the Lady Cardinals to secure a 50-45 victory.
"That was a big win for us," said Red Bay coach Donnie Roberts. "They've got tradition, they have won eight state championships. They are one of the better programs in Mississippi."
Morgan Duncan scored to break a 9-9 tie late in the first quarter and sparked a 13-0 run by the Lady Tigers, but Belmont scored the final seven points of the half to cut the deficit to 22-16 at halftime.
By the end of the third quarter, Red Bay's lead was down to five points.
"In the second quarter we went through a three or four minutes where we couldn't score," Roberts said. "In the second half, the girls did what they needed to win."
Late in the final quarter, the Lady Cardinals cut Red Bay's lead to two points.
Leah Fuller hit a free throw to extend the Lady Tigers' lead to 46-43. Belmont had a chance to pull within one, but missed a pair of free throws with 57 seconds remaining in the game.
Red Bay put the game away as Kirsten Sharp hit four free throws down the stretch.
Roberts said the key to keeping the Lady Cardinals at bay was a strong defensive effort.
"Defense played excellent tonight," Roberts said. "They have good inside players. We wanted to stop them even if we gave up some 3-pointers."
Belmont only hit two shots from behind the 3-point arc during the game.
Sharp led the Lady Tigers with 14 points while Whitney Sharp scored 13 points.
Also scoring for Red Bay were Caitlin Childers (9), Hannah Sharp (7) and Duncan (7).
Red Bay 39
Red Bay played strong early, but could not hang with Belmont as the Cardinals pulled away for a 66-39 victory against the Tigers.
A 3-pointer by Steven Nabers knotted the score at 10-10 midway through the first quarter, but Belmont closed the opening frame on a 9-0 run.
The Cardinals continued to extend their lead in the second quarter to build a 38-20 advantage at halftime.
Nabers led the Tigers with nine points while Cory Timbs and Curtis Morrell scored seven points each. Also scoring for Red Bay were Cody Reynolds (5), Andy Thorn (4), Nathan Gray (4) and Andre Newell (3).