CURRY — Down by 15 points early in the fourth period the second-seed Carbon Hill Lady Bulldogs generated a stellar comeback to beat the top-seed Curry Yellow Jackets on Saturday, 47-44, winning the Walker County Tournament championship.
Tournament MVP Alayna Ivie led the Bulldogs with 20 points, including two free throws in the closing seconds. Zana Aderholt added 15 points with five steals.
Carbon Hill scored the game’s final 18 points.
Ivie made two free throws with four seconds left, pushing the lead to three points. Curry was unable to get off a potential game-tying shot at the end.
“I was ecstatic,” Ivie said. “I wasn’t sure how high I jumped, but I’m pretty sure I touched the ceiling. (This win) means everything. I don’t know any other word to describe it.”
Carbon Hill led most of the first period until a 3-point basket by Curry’s Cam Wright with one second left on the clock helped the Yellow Jackets take control, 10-9. The second period saw the lead change hands four times between the teams, before baskets by Aderholt and Bailey Kelley put the Bulldogs on top at the half, 24-19. With the two teams tied at 29-29 midway through the third period, the Yellow Jackets went on a 13-0 run to give Curry command, 42-29.
The Yellow Jackets scored a quick basket to begin the fourth quarter and extend their lead to 44-29. From there, the Bulldog comeback began, with Carbon Hill scoring 18 unanswered points.
Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle was called for a technical foul in the third quarter, in an attempt to inspire his team.
“That fired us up. He was mad and we were mad. We had to get that spark going again,” Ivie said. “We have come back from bigger deficits. It takes everybody, but somebody has to get on a roll.”
The win marked Tittle’s sixth Walker County Tournament championship in the last 10 years.
“What a game of runs. They out-played us so badly in the third quarter, but I told the girls we still have the fourth,” Tittle said. “I got the technical and I think it fired us up some. We just turned up the pressure defensively in the fourth and got some lay ups. The 3-pointers were falling early, but we needed to get to the basket in the fourth and we did.
“This is the most unselfish team I have ever had, they only care about winning. I’m so just unbelievably proud of this bunch. It takes a lot of courage to go out and perform in front of that many people and keep your composure to do the job. We lapsed at times, but in the end we got it done. So hopefully this gives us confidence going into the area tourney.”
Bailey Kelley contributed five points, seven rebounds and a block for the Bulldogs (13-13), Ally Martin had three points, eight assists and six rebounds and Kensley Barron had three points.
For Curry (16-7), Allie Downs scored 12 points with five rebounds and two steals. Abbey Moon, Emma Matin and Cam Wright had nine points each.
Aderholt and Ally Martin joined Ivie on the All-County Tournament Team for Carbon Hill, with Moon and Downs named as the Curry representatives. Dora’s Zharia Hubbard and Cordova’s McKinsey Boteler were also named to the team.