By ZACH BIRDSONG
A 15-point halftime lead vanished for the Tullahoma girls team, as it lost control of the contest in the fourth quarter and never recovered in a 56-52 loss at Warren County on Friday night.
Clinging to a narrow 43-42 lead entering the final period of play, the Lady Wildcats lost that edge as Warren County opened the quarter on a 10-2 run. Tyra Wright buried a 3-pointer for the Lady Pioneers with 4:20 remaining in the contest, giving her team a 52-45 advantage.
With its leading scorer Julia Duncan sidelined early in the fourth quarter due to fouling out, Tullahoma didn’t back down and continued to fight back. Macey Bowman landed a 3-pointer of her own before Jessica Edde added a basket, cutting the Lady Wildcats’ deficit down to 52-50 with 3:12 left on the clock.
The teams traded baskets before Warren County’s Megan Patch added a free throw with 53.2 seconds left, giving her team a 55-52 edge. Despite multiple shot attempts, Tullahoma couldn’t add another basket on the night.
With 2.9 seconds left on the clock, Wright put the game away for Warren County. After being fouled, she was able to sink a free throw, cushioning her team’s lead to 56-52.
Duncan led Tullahoma in scoring, putting up 21 points on the night. Edde added 15 points of her own, while Bowman put up 12 points. Erin Fitzgerald rounded out the scoring for the Lady Wildcats with four points.
Tied at 6 midway through the first quarter, Tullahoma ended the opening period on an 11-3 run. Bowman put up seven points during that stretch, while Duncan and Fitzgerald each added buckets of their own, giving the Lady Wildcats a 17-9 edge.
With a 10-point lead with just over two minutes left before halftime, Tullahoma went on to close out the first half with five-straight points. Duncan put up four points in that span before Bowman added a free throw of her own as the Lady Wildcats led 34-19 at halftime.
The defense picked up for Warren County in the third quarter as it forced eight turnovers and limited Tullahoma to just nine points in the period. The Lady Pioneers added 23 points of their own in the third period, cutting the Lady Wildcats’ edge to 43-42.
Warren County quickly took control of the game in the final period as Grace Rains hit a shot with 7:41 left in the period, putting the Lady Pioneers up 44-43. Warren County never lost control of that matchup from that point.
Tullahoma (3-2) will return home on Tuesday when it hosts Cascade. Tipoff of the girls game is slated for 6 p.m.