% Hanceville 35, Vinemont 33: After going an entire season without a win, the Bulldogs picked up their second in as many nights after building a big lead and doing just enough to hold onto it Friday on the road.
Hanceville held a seemingly comfortable 32-19 cushion early in the fourth quarter before the Eagles made their move, reeling off 12 unanswered points — Sydney Wallace was responsible for seven of them and Katie Speer, five — to pull within one with 36 seconds remaining.
Taylor Hollingsworth ensured that was as close as Vinemont would get, however, coming up clutch at the free-throw line by sinking 3 of 4 attempts to put away the ballgame. Hannah Adamson rattled in a basket as time expired, but it wasn’t quite enough to complete the Eagles’ gutsy comeback bid.
“We’ve preached playing 32 minutes, and tonight, we slipped a little bit,” Bulldogs’ interim coach Wally Barnett said. “The girls have bought into what we’re trying to do. They’re working hard, and that’s all we can ask for. They just come out every night and give it their all.”
Hollingsworth topped all scorers with 18 points. Hanceville teammate Bebe Flanigan, who completed a three-point play at the halftime buzzer and tossed in a putback as time ran out in the third quarter, was next in line with nine. Niya Evans and Kaela Hall chipped in five and three points, respectively.
“Overall, I’m real pleased with the effort,” Barnett said. “When it got tough there at the end, we fought back and hit some free throws down the stretch, which has been a problem over the years. To be 2-2 right now is something we’ve talked about.”
Wallace and Speer both corraled eight points for Vinemont (1-4), which also received contributions from Zoe Thomas (five points) and Carly Westmoreland, Autumn Barnette and Adamson (four apiece).
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.