Tullahoma had to wait a day to get district play underway, but the Lady Wildcats dominated the second half, on their way to a 73-57 win over Franklin County on Wednesday.
Due to snow in the area, the District 8-AAA matchup was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday night. After leading 32-22 at halftime, Tullahoma broke the game open in the second half, going on an 11-4 run in the first four minutes of the third quarter.
Macey Bowman knocked down a 3-pointer and added another basket for Tullahoma during that stretch. Kailyn Farrell knocked down a pair of field goals of her own, while Julia Duncan capped off the run with a basket, giving the Lady Wildcats a 43-26 lead with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
The Lady Wildcats outscored Franklin County 11-9 the remainder of the third period, taking a 54-35 advantage into the fourth quarter. Duncan scored four points in the final minutes of the third period, while Farrell and Ty Hardin each added a basket. At the buzzer, Lucy Nutt knocked down a 3-pointer, giving Tullahoma momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
That wasn’t the first buzzer-beater that the Lady Wildcats had on Wednesday. Before the first half concluded, Tullahoma was able to get an easy shot off in an unlikely scenario.
With 2.7 seconds left in the second quarter, Farrell took the inbounds pass for Tullahoma, hurling a pass to midcourt to Duncan. The senior guard then quickly tossed the ball to Hardin in the paint. She found the basket and gave Tullahoma a 32-22 heading into the locker room.
“We hadn’t run it and we didn’t draw it up that way,” said THS Coach Cody McMurtry. “We spent the 30-second timeout getting onto the girls about having three of them wait back to get the ball, instead of trying to push down the court so we could the ball in quickly and get an open three. That’s why we had Kailyn inbounds the ball, that way if anything came up, she could get the ball there. That was really all them. That wasn’t anything to do with me. That was just good basketball.”
After Nutt landed the final shot in the third quarter, the teams battled back-and-forth early in the final period. Franklin County closed its deficit a bit, making the score 61-48 with 4:25 left in the contest.
Duncan took over for Tullahoma, netting seven of Tullahoma’s final 12 points. Farrell added a pair of baskets, while Sierra Neese put up the final point for the Lady Wildcats, knocking down a free throw.
“It was really nice. It was a little never-wrecking since we didn’t to practice yesterday due to the weather, but I thought the girls responded well,” McMurtry said. “We have some things that we need to work on, but you’re never going to complain about a win.”
Duncan led the Lady Wildcats in scoring, putting up 23 points. She added seven rebounds and three steals to her state line.
Bowman added 17 points for Tullahoma, while Farrell finished with 16 points. Farrell added eight rebounds, four blocks and two steals on Wednesday.
Hardin and Lucy Nutt each finished with eight points. Sierra Neese rounded out the scoring for Tullahoma after making a free throw.
The Lady Wildcats (5-2, 1-0) are scheduled to travel to Lincoln County on Friday, before heading to Moore County on Saturday. Tipoff on Friday night is scheduled for 6 p.m. with game time taking place at 4 p.m. on Saturday.