Second half surge lifts Straughn past Cottage Hill for regional berth

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2023

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Straughn broke away from a close game at halftime and earned a trip to the 3A South Regional with a 51-35 sub-regional win over Cottage Hill at home Monday, Feb. 13.

The Lady Tigers won their 12th straight game and improved to 17-8 on the season, while the Lady Warriors ended the year 14-10.

CHCA opened a 4-0 lead as Ashlyn Newton made a basket, and Dakota Freeman converted two free throws. Blakeley Smith cut the score in half with a driving layup before Newton extended the lead to 6-2 with another bucket. Following two free throws from Allyx Williamson, Presley Bates drained a three and gave SHS its first lead at 7-6 with 2:54 left in the opening period. Cottage Hill responded back for a 10-9 lead, but Bates made a four-point play and closed with six consecutive points in the final minute. Straughn held a 15-12 lead after one.

Melonie Harris hit a jumper, while Carlin Bates swished two shots from the foul line and stretched the margin to 19-16. Sydney Roossinck trimmed the gap back down to one as Kennedy Jones gave CHCA a 20-19 lead. Williamson had a three-point play and finished with five in the second to help give SHS a 24-21 lead at the half.

Both sides went back and forth in the third period and saw the lead change hands on several occasions. C. Bates nailed a jumper for a 32-29 lead before P. Bates banked a clutch three for some breathing room. C. Bates and Williamson each scored four points in the frame. Neither side found the hoop again as the score remained 35-29 with eight minutes remaining.

Williamson began the final frame with another three-point play and pushed the lead to 40-29 with a jumper. The Lady Tigers scored their final 11 points from the line as Aubrey Pittman was a perfect four-of-four. Freeman had three points and a drive to the hoop for the only field goal by the Lady Warriors in the fourth.

Williamson was the top scorer for SHS with 18 points. P. Bates also earned double digits at 17. C. Bates earned six as Harris and Pittman each totaled four. Smith collected two points in the win. Freeman paced CHCA with 11 points and was followed by Newton who had 10. Taylor Davidson added six points in the loss.

Straughn now turns focus to the 3A South Regional Saturday, Feb. 18, for a 9 a.m. matchup against Pike County (21-8) at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery.