After leading at the end of the third quarter, Tullahoma had to rally in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 40 late. However, Oakland continually found an answer, edging the Lady Wildcats 46-45 on Monday night in the opening round of the Region 4-AAA Tournament.
The loss ended the season for Tullahoma, while the Lady Patriots advanced to take on Blackman in the region semifinals which were scheduled for Tuesday. As of press time, the result of that contest was unavailable.
After starting the season with an 0-6 record, Tullahoma went 15-8 the remainder of the year. The Lady Wildcats finished the 2018-19 campaign with an overall record of 15-14, including winning the District 8-AAA Tournament.
Tullahoma led 33-29 heading into the fourth quarter on Monday night, but a 9-0 run by Oakland gave the Lady Patriots a 38-33 advantage with 5:29 left in the contest. The Lady Wildcats cut into that deficit, as Kailyn Farrell and Jessica Edde hit back-to-back shots, making the score 38-37 with 4 minutes remaining on the clock.
Nicole Egeruoh answered right back with a basket for Oakland on the other end, giving the Lady Patriots a 40-37 advantage with 3:32 left in the final period. Egeruoh led Oakland in scoring on the night, putting up 16 points.
After each team was held scoreless for a while, Macey Bowman hit a corner 3-pointer for Tullahoma, evening the score at 40 with 1:50 left on the clock.
However, Faith Adams quickly put Oakland back in front, this time for good, going straight at the Lady Wildcats’ interior defense, connecting on a layup with 1:33 remaining in the period. Sydney Blankenship added a pair of free throws as well for the Lady Patriots, and her team led 44-40 with 39.8 seconds remaining in the contest.
Julia Duncan added a basket to cut Tullahoma’s deficit to 44-42 with 21 seconds left on the clock. Blankenship then added another pair of free throws, making the score 46-42 with 16.3 seconds remaining in the ballgame.
With 8.8 seconds left in the period, Duncan was fouled, making the first of her two attempts, before missing the second try. On the rebound, Bowman was fouled, as no time had expired off the clock. Bowman sank both of her free throws, cutting the Lady Wildcats’ deficit to 46-45.
Egeruoh missed three-straight free throws for Oakland, getting fouled on back-to-back plays. Duncan grabbed the final rebound for the Lady Wildcats, dribbling downcourt and putting up one final heave that was short, and Oakland held on for the victory.
Duncan led the way for Tullahoma in scoring on the night, putting up 14 points. Farrell and Bowman each finished with double figures as well, netting 11 and 10 points, respectively. Edde finished her night with seven points, while Ty Hardin rounded out the scoring for the Lady Wildcats with three points.
Early on Monday night, Oakland came out strong, running its offense through Egeruoh. The Lady Patriots’ forward scored six of her team’s first eight points, putting the visitors up 8-2 with 5:09 remaining in the opening period.
Tullahoma countered with an 8-2 run of its own to close out the first quarter. Duncan helped spark that boost for the Lady Wildcats, knocking down four free throws, while Bowman hit a 3-pointer. Just before the period closed, Hardin added a free throw for THS, and the teams headed into the second quarter tied at 10.
Oakland took control late in the second period, scoring nine of the first 12 points, taking a 19-13 advantage with 2:54 remaining in the quarter. Tullahoma responded with a 7-0 run, taking its first lead of the game, going ahead 20-19 with 1:17 left before halftime.
However, Adams hit a pair of free throws for the Lady Patriots, as Oakland took a 21-20 advantage into the locker room.
Tullahoma scored the first four points of the third quarter, grabbing a 24-21 edge with 6:19 remaining in the period. Duncan and Edde each hit a free throw, while Farrell added a basket during that run.
The Lady Wildcats held a four-point margin for the majority of the period, but another basket by Farrell gave Tullahoma a 31-25 advantage with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
Despite a basket by Duncan, Oakland still kept the deficit at four points heading into the final period. Egeruoh made a pair of free throws for the Lady Patriots, and Dakoria Puckett added a basket, making the score 33-29 heading into the final quarter.
Adams finished her night with 14 points for Oakland. Claira McGowan scored eight points, while Blankenship scored six points and Puckett had two points.