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December 27, 2013

HOLIDAY TOURNEY ROUNDUP: Tough-luck Lady Warriors get back in win column with 70-57 triumph vs. Cleveland

HAYDEN — The West Point girls basketball team has had every reason to shout, “Bah, Humbug!” from the top of its lungs this Christmas season.

But even without two of their biggest presences inside the post, the Warriors were understandably filled with a whole lot of holiday cheer following a 70-57 win against Cleveland at the Hayden Christmas Classic.

With Madison Rusk and Daeshia Smith both out with knee injuries, West Point entered Friday’s contest with just seven players. That number quickly shrunk to five when a pair of Lady Warriors were sent to the bench with a handful of fouls.

As if all that weren’t nerve-racking enough, the Maroon and White had two more girls riding the line with four fouls apiece.

Think West Point wilted under the pressure? No way. Instead, it charged full steam ahead, riding a 21-10 fourth quarter to its third win of the season.

“I was telling them, ‘Don’t foul,’” coach Regina Jones said with a laugh in reference to her squad’s tricky situation.

Mallory Walker and Jeri Beasley led a group of four Warriors in double figures with 15 points each, which Jamie Beasley was hot on their heels with 14. Tess Hembree compiled a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Other West Point contributors were Alexis Bell, seven points; Lexie Burdette, six; and Bailee Yearwood, two.

“I hope it builds some confidence in them because they’ve been struggling with it a little bit,” Jones said of the winning effort. “We hit some shots and played good defense. They had some girls about 6’1”, so we were really outsized, but the girls played really good defensively, and they boxed out and rebounded really well.”

The Warriors will wrap up tournament play on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against an unknown opponent.

% Cold Springs 42, James Clemens 33: The Decatur Orthopaedic Classic is filled with teams in far higher classifications than the little ol’ Lady Eagles.

That didn’t stop Class 2A Cold Springs from beating up on the Jets in first-round action Friday, using five girls with at least seven points to upend their 6A counterpart.

Caitlyn Hall led the way with 11 points for the third-ranked Blue and Gold, which reeled off their fifth straight win to improve to 13-4. The Eagles advance to play another 6A opponent in Spain Park on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Other Cold Springs contributors were Emme Willoughby, nine points; Bailey West, eight; and Haley Freeman and Chloe Harbison, seven apiece.

“We had a good day today. Everybody played real hard and was on the floor fighting for loose balls,” Eagle coach Tammy West said. “They seemed to step it up to a notch I hadn’t seen yet. It was a lot of hustle.”

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