BHS returning to Wallace State
For the FCT
BELGREEN – BELGREEN – The Belgreen varsity girls basketball team used a stifling defensive effort to defeat Decatur Heritage 50-27 Thursday night to clinch their first regional appearance since 2003.
The Lady Bulldogs held Decatur Heritage to only nine field goals for the game, and only 10 points in the first half.
"They played hard," said Belgreen coach Shauna Humphries. "I'm really proud of them. (Tonight) couldn't have worked out any better."
Belgreen started the game on an 8-0 run, and Decatur Heritage's first point did not come until a free throw by Shayna Voss with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter.
By the time Amelia Ayers hit the Lady Eagles' first field goal with a little over a minute left in the quarter, the Lady Bulldogs had built an eight-point lead, and they extended the lead to 12-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw more of the Lady Bulldogs' defensive suffocation of Decatur Heritage. They held the Lady Eagles to two field goals and seven points in the quarter, and scored 15 points of their own to take a 27-10 lead into halftime.
"We talked before the game about how we wanted to jump in front of them," Humphries said. "We wanted to get up and not get behind. It's tough to come from behind in a game like this."
Any hopes of a Lady Eagle comeback were dashed in the third quarter.
After cutting the Lady Bulldog lead to 29-14, Belgreen reeled off seven unanswered points to take a 36-14 lead into the final period.
Decatur Heritage's offense somewhat awakened in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points, but the Lady Bulldogs answered with 14 points of their own to finish the victory.
Deborah Billingham led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points while Amber Smith added 10 and Katelin Barber scored nine – on three 3-pointers. Also scoring for Belgreen were Martha Billingham (8), Loren McVicker (5), Anna DeVaney (2) and Lydia DeVaney (2).
The Lady Bulldogs advance to the regional round to face Hackleburg – a team they have faced three times this season – at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Tom Drake Coliseum at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
Belgreen defeated the Lady Panthers 52-47 at home and 69-62 on the road during the regular season. Hackleburg defeated Belgreen 54-50 in the finals of the Fayette Lions Club tournament.