BIRMINGHAM — R.C. Hatch won the second half, but in basketball you play two halves for a reason.
The Lady Bobcats struggled to shut down North Sand Mountain’s attack early in the game and fell to the Lady Bison 68-66 in the AHSAA Class AA state semifinals.
“I just want to thank the Father, Son and Holy Sprit for letting us get here,” said Hatch coach John Abraham. “We had a great season.”
Hatch struggled shutting down the early three-point attack of North Sand Mountain.
The Lady Bison were able to put six in from behind the arc in the first half.
“I tell you what,” said Abraham. “Those girls could shoot.”
The Lady Bobcats seemed to come out shell-shocked in the game, turning the ball over early and having trouble getting to all of the loose balls.
The result was a 34-22 deficit for the lady Bobcats.
“At the half I told them that it wasn’t over and we have been down before,” said Abraham.
In the second half Hatch began to play much better.
“We changed to a man-to-man in at the beginning of the second half,” said North Sand Mountain coach Michael Wilbon, “but they kept getting to the basket.”
Hatch pulled close an the second half and looked to have the game in hand after an amazing basket by Kristy Lipscomb and the following free throw put the Lady Bobcats up by one with 6:39 left in the game.
“I though we had it then,” said Lipscomb. “We knew it was time to play ball.”
The Lady Bison would prove too much in the end.
Lacy Huckabee, a seventh-grader, would make some key free throws at the end of the game to seal the deal for the Bison.
“I just knew my team needed me and I had to step up,” said Huckabee.
Eboni Smith led R.C. Hatch in scoring with 26 points, Lipscomb added 18 for the Lady Bobcats.
Chelsea Ellison led the Lady Bison with 18 points