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franklin county times

Belgreen Lady Bulldogs finish basketball season with loss

The Belgreen Bulldogs (27-7) came within a game of going to the Final Four, but some tough pressure defense from the Marion County Red Raiders ended up being too much for the Bulldogs who lost 60-48 in the regional final at Hanceville.

“I’m very proud of the way our girls fought and played all year long,” said Belgreen coach Chad Green. “I thank the Good Lord for blessing me. This is a gut-wrenching loss, and I know these girls are hurting inside. I am glad to know I have more in this life than just basketball. This is a special group of kids. They just come in every day and work hard and exemplify what a team truly is.”

Green said they were able to extend their defense “our more than we wanted to.”

“We fought back hard and tied the game up ,but we made more mental mistakes than we needed to to be able to win the game,” he added. “They were also a little more physical than we were. We’ve hung our hats on pressure defense all year. Marion County has some good athletes and good shooters.”

Belgreen found themselves on the defensive from the start after some relentless pressure by Marion County. The Red Raiders were able to open up a 10-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

Junior Dacota Green stopped the opening onslaught with a short corner jumper with 5:01 to go in the first. Marion County answered and, again ,Green took it to the hole for two more hard-fought points to cut the Red Raiders lead to 12-4.

Belgreen got hot behind the arch beginning with a three by Bryn Scott and three straight by Green to end first quarter, cutting Marion County’s lead to 20-18.

Green got a putback to tie the game at 20 with 7:03 to go in the second quarter.

Belgreen went cold from the field, going five and a half minutes without scoring, getting down to 31-20 before Alayna Tate hit a corner three to stop the drought.

The Red Raiders hit a three at the buzzer to take a 36-23 halftime lead.

Green hit her fourth three with just under one minute to play in the third quarter to cut Marion County’s lead to 42-31.

The Red Raiders hit the opening two baskets of the fourth quarter, giving them a 46-31 advantage.

Green ended the game with 22 points and seven rebounds. Scott followed with 11 points. Makenna Fisher finished with eight points, Tate with three points, Carson Hovater with two points and Mackinley Hogan with two points.

No seniors are on this year’s team. “We need to get stronger and just keep working, and I think we can get this opportunity again next year,” said Dacota Green.

“We just have to put in the work, and we can make it happen,” echoed fellow teammate Bryn Scott. Scott is the all-time steals leader at Belgreen. “We wouldn’t be here without her. She will be on the state list next year.”

“We were blessed to be here,” said Makenna Fisher. “We worked hard, and we just have to put in the work for next year.”

In the opening round of play at the Northwest Regional, Belgreen took control of the game in the second quarter and didn’t let go, beating Meek 54-34.

Belgreen trailed Meek 11-9 at the end of the first quarter, but the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 45-23 over the next three quarters.

Fisher led Belgreen with 16 points, going 7-for-13 from the field, including two three pointers. Fisher also had five rebounds.

Green followed Fisher with 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Scott scored eight points and recorded nine steals and five rebounds. Morgan Lauderdale added seven points, Isabella Tate adding five points and seven rebounds, Carson Hovater four points and Kiera Smith two points.

Green and Fisher earned All-Tournament honors.

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