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Lady Hornets drop heartbreaker in sectional finals

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

JACKSON — You could almost hear Jackson Browne singing in the background, “Running on empty.”
That’s how the Coal Grove Lady Hornets felt as they lost a 41-40 heartbreaker to the Alexander Lady Spartans in the Division III sectional finals on Saturday.
The Lady Hornets were ravaged by the flu during the past few days as they prepared to play Alexander.
Coal Grove (18-6) led most of the game before Alexander rallied in the fourth quarter.
“We had no gas left in the tank,” said Lady Hornets’ coach Rick Roach. “We played well the first half and were able to draw some fouls and get to the line.
“Alexander pressures you the entire game. In the second half, their intensity picked up. We simply got tired.”
Roach said the illness especially took its toll in the second half.
“(Emily) Compliment was only able to practice once this week because of the flu. (Addi) Dillow was vomiting this morning at our team breakfast and (Kasey) Murphy was vomiting the whole bus ride up (to the game),” said Roach.
“I’m so proud of the girls and the effort they gave. In the game, (Destiny) Dolen rebounded well and was able to get to the basket with her good left-handed skills.”
Compliment scored 11 points and Dolen 10 to lead the Lady Hornets. Murphy added eight points.
Rachel Richardson had a game-high 22 points for Alexander (17-6). Jadyn Mace added eight points and Kenna Rice seven.
Coal Grove took a 13-9 first quarter lead. Five different players scored led by Compliment who hit a 3-pointer and scored five points.
The Lady Hornets extended the lead to 24-17 at the half as Dolen and Murphy scored four points each. Coal Grove was 5-of-9 from the line in the quarter.
Alexander cut the deficit to 30-27 at the end of the third quarter as Richardson and Rice hit 3-pointers.
In the fourth quarter, Richardson took charge as she scored nine points including a 3-pointer. Compliment had four points with two coming at the foul line.
Coal Grove    13    11    6    10    =    40
Alexander    9    8    10    15    =    41
COAL GROVE (18-6): Addi Dillow 2 0 1-2 5, Baylee McKnight 2 0 0-1 4, Emily Compliment 2 1 4-5 11, Kasey Murphy 2 0 4-4 8, Destiny Dolen 5 0 0-1 10, Jaiden Griffith 1 00-0 2. Totals: 15-32 9-13 40. 3-pt goals: 1. Fouls: 9. Fouled out: None.
ALEXANDER (17-6): Jadyn Mace 4 0 0-0 8, Kenna Rice 2 1 0-0 7, Sydnie Bolin 1 0 0- 2, Abby Howard 0 0 0-0 0, Makayla Trout 0 0 0-0 0, Rachel Richardson 4 3 1-2 22, Mallory Rankin 1 0 2-2 4, Kristin Taylor 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 17-46 3-4 41. 3-pt goals: 4. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.