Then the fourth quarter started.
Lynn dominated the final eight minutes of the game and earned their fourth straight trip to the Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State-Hanceville with a 60-35 victory over the Eagles in the Class 1A sub-regional game at Lynn High School.
The Bears (29-1) outscored Decatur Heritage 22-2 in the fourth quarter.
“It was a nip-tuck, back-and-forth game for a long time,” Lynn coach Adam Gray said. “We’d get up by 10 points and then they would make a couple of shots and cut the lead back down. The last time we went up by 10, we kept it going. It was a physical game. I think we just wore them down toward the end. We kept pushing and running and that turned into easy baskets in the fourth.”
Lindsey Tompkin led the Lynn charge, scoring 11 of her 17 points in the final quarter. Tompkin also had eight rebounds and four steals. Brooke Harris also had a big game for the Bears, knocking down four 3-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Jackee Dodd finished with a double-double and contributed across the board for Lynn, scoring 16 points along with 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks while Reagan Tittle had 10 points, six assists and three steals.
Next up for the Bears is a 6 p.m. game vs. Shoals Christian (14-14) on Wednesday at Wallace State-Hanceville. The Flame advanced with a 53-51 road win at Tharptown in their Northwest Sub-Regional game.
On Thursday, Lynn and Decatur Heritage swapped the lead nine times in the first half.
The Bears took a 9-4 lead after a pair of Jackee Dodd baskets and Harris’ first 3-pointer. Decatur Heritage (20-11) cut the lead to 9-8 after the first quarter. Lynn took the lead for good at the 5:51 mark of the second quarter after a Harris 3-pointer made the score 16-14.
She added another long-range bomb to increase the Bears’ lead to 21-16 with 3:14 left in the half.
Harris finished with eight points in the second quarter as Lynn took a 25-19 lead into the half.
The Bears were unable to put the Eagles away in the third quarter, taking a 38-33 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Lynn took control early in the final quarter and cruised to the victory.
Lynn’s first three regional trips have ended with losses to R.A. Hubbard. The Bears advanced to the regional championship game last year before falling to the Chiefs. They lost to Hubbard in the opening round of the regional tournament in both 2010 and 2011.
The Bears are 85-5 over the last three years and 99-19 over the last four seasons.
Class 3A Northwest Sub-Regional
Danville 59, Cordova 38
The Cordova Lady Blue Devils’ quest for a Northwest Regional Tournament berth came to an end on Thursday night, as they fell to the Danville Hawks, 59-38, in Danville.
Jessica Willingham led Cordova (17-16) with 10 points and seven rebounds, while Hanna McLemore score eight points. Alexis Cooper contributed with seven points.
Cordova coach Randy Stracner said the battle with the Hawks was a tale of two halves, where Danville owned the second half that would decide the game.
“We came out strong in the first half, but we just let Danville hang around and they eventually were able to make the baskets and take the lead,” Stracner said. “Once they had the momentum, we just weren’t able to regain it and Danville walked away with the win.”
Despite the season-ending loss, Stracner stated that he was extremely pleased with the progression that his team made from last year, as well as the joy he experienced in coaching his daughters, Kelsey and Kennedy.
“To go from winning only eight games last year to having 17 victories this year and making the sub-region is a huge improvement. I really feel that our girls were able to close the gap between us and the upper-level teams in the area — we were able to win some of those games and in losses, we were always competitive,” Stracner said. “It’s also been one of the most rewarding years of my life as few coaches have the pleasure of having both of their daughters play for them. Tonight was bittersweet as the joy of having Kelsey and Kennedy on the court with me for another game was there, but it was Kelsey’s last game as a player for me as well. We’ve had a great ride together and she’s been a big part of helping grow our team into what it has become. It was a wonderful year.”
Cordova opened the game with a 18-13 lead, before taking a 26-23 advantage into halftime. Danville took control in the third period, outscoring Cordova 16-5 for the 39-31 lead en route to the 59-38 final.
Class 4A Central Sub-Regional
Calera 53, Corner 34
Corner saw its season come to an end on Thursday in a 53-34 loss at Calera.
The Eagles improved to 20-8 and earned a spot in the Central Regional Tournament in Montgomery. Corner’s season ends at 15-13.