Vina, Phil Campbell advance in county tourney
RED BAY – Two area basketball teams clinched spots in the semifinals of the Franklin County Junior High Basketball Tournament Thursday night while another earned a place in the finals.
The Vina seventh and eighth grade girls squeaked out a 20-16 victory against Tharptown to advance to Monday's finals against Red Bay.
The Lady Red Devils' Miranda Howard scored 10 points to lead Vina to the victory.
The game was close throughout, as the biggest lead was only five points. Tharptown led 12-11 at halftime, but the Lady Red Devils took control in the third quarter and held a 17-15 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Also scoring for Vina were Catlin Benstien (5), Alex Miller (3) and Meagan Scott (2).
Rachel Garrison led the Lady Wildcats with seven points while Danielle Creasy added four points for Tharptown. Also scoring for Tharptown were Erica Valdez (2), Ally Chaffin (2) and Abbey Allen (1).
Phil Campbell 25,
The Phil Campbell ninth grade girls basketball team overcame some early scoring struggles to beat Vina 25-9 and advance to the semifinals against Belgreen.
With the score tied 3-3 after the first quarter, Caden Pruitt broke the game open for the Lady Bobcats by scoring eight points during the second quarter.
The only other players to score in the quarter were Phil Campbell's Sarah Hilliard and Vina's Jessica Pickle as Phil Campbell built a 13-5 lead at halftime.
Taylor Scott ended what Pruitt started by scoring 10 second-half points for the Lady Bobcats.
The Phil Campbell defense played strong in the second half and kept Vina from scoring until the closing minutes when Pickle hit a free throw and a 3-pointer.
Scott led all scorers with 13 points while Pruitt added eight and Hilliard scored four for Phil Campbell.
Pickle led Vina with seven points while Brandi Brooks added two points for the Lady Red Devils.
Phil Campbell 45,
The Phil Campbell ninth grade boys basketball team swapped the lead with Vina several times in the first quarter, but was able to pull away in the second quarter on its way to a 45-24 victory against the Red Devils to set up a semifinal game against Red Bay.
Craig Saint and Austin Casas both scored in double figures for the Bobcats. Casas recorded 16 points while Saint scored 10.
Also scoring for Phil Campbell were Ben Stancil (8), Cammeron Harris (6), Chase Swinney (3) and David Herrero (2).
Clay Pierce had a hot hand for Vina early – he scored eight points in the opening quarter – but he was unable to continue that success down the stretch and finished with nine points.
Adam Pharr also scored nine points for Vina while Ethan Pharr scored six.
Semifinals finish late
The semifinal games were Saturday, but they concluded too late to be included in today's edition of The Franklin County Times. See Wednesday's edition for a recap of all the semifinal games.