R.C. Hatch takes third place

Published 12:05 am Sunday, December 28, 2008

R.C. Hatch salvaged third place in the Wilcox Central Holiday Tournament with a 51-47 win over Marengo on Saturday.

The Bobcats’ participation in the consolation game was the result of a bus accident on the outskirts of Uniontown on Friday, the first day of the tournament. The accident forced the Bobcats to miss their scheduled game with J.F. Shields.

R.C. Hatch (7-6) led 29-24 at the close of a competitive first half. A Tashamase Dumas jump shot trimmed the lead to 31-28 in the third quarter, but the Bobcats responded with an 8-0 run triggered by two Ashley Wilkins layups and suffocating defense to extend the lead to 39-28.

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“Defense won the game for us,” said R.C. Hatch coach John Abraham. “(Marengo) played well. They’re small, but play with a big heart.”

The Panthers (4-3) returned the favor with a 7-0 run sparked by two Cassandra Thomas 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 39-35 late in the third quarter.

Marengo couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity to take the lead early in the fourth. The Panthers opened the period with a 7-2 run highlighted by a Kim Lanier 3-point play, which cut the deficit to 44-42. On Marengo’s next possession, Latina Pritchett drew a foul on a made layup to tie the game at 44, but couldn’t convert the free throw.

“We got a little winded going down the stretch,” said Marengo coach John Agee. “I felt like by girls did a pretty good job of competing with them.”

The Bobcats reclaimed the lead at 48-44 on layups from Marshae Wright and DaQuisha Coleman, then held off the Panthers for the win.

Wilkins led the Bobcats with 16 points and Coleman chipped in 12 points.

Thomas led all scorers with 17 points. Lanier trailed Thomas with 16 and Dumas finished with 10.