By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Hokes Bluff overcame a flat second half to defeat Susan Moore, 58-40, in Class 3A, Area 10 girls basketball tournament action on Feb. 9.
The No. 19 Lady Eagles (25-4) face Ashville in Saturday’s championship game at 6 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Glencoe in Thursday’s other semifinal contest.
The Lady Eagles’ highly-potent offense managed only two points in the third quarter.
“We came out as flat as we could in the second half,” Hokes Bluff head coach Jason Shields said. “Fortunately, we live and die by our defense and our defense allowed us to hold our lead.”
The Eagles led 39-22 heading into the final period, when both teams’ offenses finally found a gear.
The two squads traded baskets in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles outscored the Bulldogs 19-18 to seal the win.
“These girls never give up,” Shields added. “I was proud of the way they kept fighting even though things weren’t going their way. I am proud we got the win.”
Hokes Bluff raced to a 25-5 lead in the first quarter after a barrage of three-point shots by Carlie Shields and Hannah Evans, who combined for 14 of the Lady Eagles’ points in the opening stanza.
Shields continued to bomb the long-ball, adding six points to her tally in the second quarter, to help give Hokes Bluff a 37-15 lead at intermission.
Shields led the Lady Eagles with 15 points, while Evans added 13.
“Now we have to get ready for Ashville,” Shields said. “They are a big and physical team. It will be hard to guard girls over six feet tall with our smaller guards, so we will have to shoot the ball well to win.”