By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
HANCEVILLE — Lauderdale County's student section brought the Harlem Shake to the Northwest Regional Tournament Thursday at Wallace State. Then its girls basketball team brought the pain to Winfield, riding an 18-point outburst from Emma Wallen to shake the Pirates 68-41.
The state's defending Class 3A champs advance to Saturday's regional title game, where they'll face No. 3 Madison Academy. Tip-off will be at 3:40 p.m.
Emma was the most productive of the Wallen triplets, knocking down 6 of 9 3-pointers to go along with three steals and three rebounds. Ivy, another Wallen, flirted with a triple double, compiling 10 assists, eight points and seven rebounds. She also had four steals.
Makayla Liles and Karlee Brown also cracked double-digits for the No. 2 Tigers (30-5) with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Liles was also responsible for eight boards.
Micaela Beck rounded up 13 points in the loss. Katelyn Kostelc had 12.
Winfield finished the season 24-7.
% Madison Academy 46, Danville 26: The Mustangs pitched a 1.5-quarter shutout and cruised the remaining 20 minutes, eliminating the Hawks, who stunned Good Hope with a close loss earlier in the postseason.
Madison Academy (26-8) received double-digit efforts from Sierra Jones, 14 points, and Libba Gillam, 10.
Danville didn't score until Jesse Oliver sank a shot under the basket with 3:29 left in the second quarter. The Hawks scored the next four points before Melissa Milton drained a 3-pointer to put Madison Academy up 21-6 at halftime.
Sydni Shelton scored nine points for Danville (26-9).
% Mars Hill Bible 58, Winfield 56: The Panthers flipped the script on their semifinal opponent, forcing the Pirates to walk the plank on a clutch, game-saving jumper from Thomas Swinea with only 1.2 seconds remaining.
Winfield received a good look from just behind half-court on the ensuing play, but Jake Farris' heave sailed short and right to give Mars Hill the hard-fought victory.
The No. 2 Panthers appeared to have the game in the bag after taking a commanding 21-5 lead through one quarter of play. The Pirates (21-9) answered with a 21-11 second quarter, though, and continued to chip away at the deficit until finally tying the score at 56-56 with 40 seconds to go.
Mars Hill (27-5) took a timeout with 10.6 seconds on the clock to set up one last play. The result was Farris' heroic swish, which increased his game-high point total to 16. His teammate, Harrison Chastain, chipped in 14.
Jordan Junkin steered Winfield's ship for 14 points, while Ryan Spann and Jared Henderson each had 11.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.