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LADY WILDCATS HOLD ON AGAINST LADY EAGLES: Florala advances to area championship after winning against the Pleasant Home Lady Eagles, Tuesday, 51-47

The Florala High School Lady Wildcats girl’s basketball team is area championship bound after holding off a late-game comeback from the Pleasant Home Lady Eagles on Tuesday, 51-47.

Sharae Coleman started things off for the Lady Wildcats strong with three layups to take the lead 7-0.

Alyssa Thames then hit a three-pointer to increase the Wildcat lead to 10-0.

Pleasant Home got on the board with 5:31 left in the first period with a free throw.

Amy Bulger then hit a three-pointer to cut the Lady Wildcat lead to 10-4.

With 3:06 left in the first period, Kyndra Anthony scored a three-pointer to make it 13-4, but Bulger answered with her own three to make it 13-7.

Amy Garner cut the lead down to one point going into the second period with an and-one foul.

Pleasant Home took the lead in the second period after a layup from Aubrey Pittman, but FHS came back with a three-pointer from Anthony to regain the lead 17-15.

With 2:23 left in the half, Allie Stephens hit a three-pointer to increase the Lady Wildcat lead 20-19.

Cheyenne Regan had a steal and a layup for the Lady Wildcats with 1:41 remaining in the half, and then Coleman followed that with two steals and layups to increase the lead 27-19 going into half time.

Anthony opened the third period for the Lady Wildcats with a three-pointer, but Bulger answered to make it 30-21.

Coleman got a layup with 6:48 left in the third period to make it 32-21. With 5:48 left in the game, Daisy Cordle had to layups to cut the Lady Wildcat lead 32-26.

Anthony had a steal for FHS with 3:20 left in the third to make it 34-26.

Bulger made it a four-point game, but Coleman answered with an and-one to go up 37-30.

With one minute left in the game, PHS turned on the burners with a three-pointer from Bulger that was answered by Coleman, but Bulger answered once more to make it 39-36. With 25 seconds left in the third, Garner had a layup to cut the lead down to one point, 39-38.

Garner opened things up for PHS in the fourth, taking the lead with a layup, 40-39.

With 6:25 left in the game, Lexi Straughan increased the lead with a layup, but Coleman tied things up at 42-42 with a three-pointer.

Bulger scored again for the Lady Eagles to make it 44-42.

With 2:37 left in the game, Anthony hit a three-pointer for the Lady Wildcats to take back the lead 46-45.

Coleman then increased the lead with a lay-up, making it 48-45.

Pittman hit a lay-up for the Lady Eagles to make it a one-point game, but with 40 seconds left in the game, Regan hit a jump shot to end the game 51-47.

Coleman led the Lady Wildcats scoring effort with 24 points and seven steals.

Anthony had 17 points, four rebounds and two steals.

Bulger led the scoring effort for the Lady Eagles with 18 points.

“We have been preaching from the start of the season that we want to come out and set the tone of the game,” FHS head coach David Bass said. “We did just that. We usually come flat-footed, but tonight we came out and set the tone from the start. We kind of got a little complacent there at the end and let them come back and they did a good job of battling back.”

Going into the area championship, Bass said his girls need to work on free throws.

“We were eight for 20 from the free-throw line,” Bass said. “Those are a lot of points that we left out on the floor. We also have to work on rebounding going into the championship.”

Compared to the start of the season, Bass said his team has improved a lot.

“We have improved greatly and we are playing with a very young bunch,” Bass said. “We are playing with a lot of seventh and eighth graders, but they are really learning the game. They are giving it their all and they are becoming more competitive. I’m just proud of the effort that the girls gave tonight.”

With the win, the Lady Wildcats improve to 15-11 and will take on Samson, Friday night.