- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Forest Hill was able to hold off a scrappy bunch of Lady Bulldogs to escape with a 49-38 victory in the Class 4A state tournament on Thursday.
Back-to-back turnovers by Forest Hill (30-4) gave New Albany (27-5) a new sense of life when an offensive putback by Michah Washington made it a 41-38 game at the 2:41 mark of the fourth quarter.
“We still had a chance with three minutes to go, but we couldn’t make the big basket when we needed to,” Coach John Stroud said.
Forest Hill was able put the game on ice by hitting six-of-eight from the free throw line over the final minutes of the contest.
“I was proud of our effort, but we didn’t play very well offensively,” Stroud said.
The 38-point output was the lowest of the season as the Lady Bulldogs shot thirty-six percent from the floor.
“Forest Hill has a great defensive team, but I think it was a lot of us with the young kids playing for the first time in the coliseum because we normally shoot a lot better,” Stroud said.
New Albany tried to counter their poor shooting performance by getting aggressive on the boards allowed the Lady Patriots to open up the floor to get in their transition game to grab momentum down the stretch.
“We were crashing the offensive boards a little more in the second half because we weren’t shooting that well, but we weren’t getting back like we did in the first half,” Stroud said.
Kebrina Lucas scored 17, Washington 7, Porche White 4, Jazmine Spears 4, Myambi Penson 3, Tierra Lucas 2, and Brittney Johnson added 1 point to for the Lady Bulldogs.
Courtney Marbra scored 17 and Bianca Powell added 16 for Forest Hill.
Despite making an early exit from the state tournament the Lady Bulldogs still held their head high knowing they accomplished something no one had given them a chance at doing this season.
“No one expected this out of the girls at the beginning of the season, but we are really happy to be able to play in state tournament,” Stroud said.
The experience earned in Jackson by the youthful New Albany squad gives the program high expectations for the future.
“We got a great future if they will just work on their games with the sophomores and an eight grader the future is bright. We just got to take that next step and it means a lot when you get this kind of experience,” Stroud said.
New Albany will be losing one senior, Tierra Lucas, off the year’s team.