TANNER — Sydney Houston held out her left hand and counted off the injuries Tanner High’s girls basketball team dealt with in recent weeks.
At one point, the Rattlers had three key players out of the lineup.
The adversity showed in the results, but also allowed Tanner to develop depth.
Now that Tanner’s roster is getting healthy, Houston and company believe they could have something cooking.
The Rattlers cruised past Ardmore 49-17 Monday night in the opening round of the Limestone County tournament, picking up their fourth win in six games.
Tanner advances to face top-seeded East Limestone Thursday night in the tournament semifinals.
“This season, we’ve had a lot of injuries and haven’t been able to get everyone on the floor,” Houston said.
“I think there was one time where we had five players get hurt in two weeks. But we had a lot of people step up and get us through. If we can just everyone back and healthy, I think we can finish the season strong.”
Tanner’s tournament opener was a step in the right direction. The Rattlers dominated the second half, holding Ardmore to four points.
“At halftime, we challenged the players to pick up their defense,” Tanner coach Larry Greene said. “In the first half, we kind of let Ardmore dictate how we played. But after halftime, we came out and guarded better, and that resulted in points.”
Yes, it did.
Tanner carried a 23-13 lead into halftime, and then opened the third quarter strong, outscoring Ardmore 17-0 before Sarah Tipton made Ardmore’s first basket of the half early in the fourth quarter.
Tipton led Ardmore with six points.
“Coach Greene has been pushing us to play better defense,” Houston said. “We’re starting to get better. We’ve been seeing that lately.”
Sydney Houston led Tanner with 14 points, while Kelsey Houston tossed in 13. Alliyah Fletcher and Samara French each finished with six.
Ardmore 57, Clements 55: Myles Noblitt poured in 18 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, sending Ardmore past Clements in the opening round of the Limestone County tournament.
Ardmore advances to play top-seeded Tanner on Thursday.
“They’ve got some really good shooters,” Noblitt said. “If you give them an open shot, they’ll knock it down. But we were able to pull together at the end. That’s what matters.”
Clements flirted with a comeback in the closing minutes. The Colts pulled within one with less than 40 seconds remaining, but Noblitt and Robbie Stevenson made five of six free throws down the stretch to keep the lead.
Stevenson finished with nine points for Ardmore, while Ben Hargrove tossed in 13.
Seth Hamilton paced Clements with 21 points, making four 3-pointers. Harrison Russell finished with 13 points and Colton Gafford added 10.
Contact Justin Graves at 256-340-2460 or by email at email@example.com.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|