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Gracie Hill shoots for three in the Lady Tigers’ 59-57 loss to Huntsville. Special to the Enquirer/Jim Meadows

Lady Tigers come up short in 59-57 loss to Huntsville

The Hartselle Lady Tigers fell to 7-5 with a 59-57 loss to the visiting Huntsville Lady Panthers Dec. 14.

Hartselle jumped out to an 8-5 lead midway through the first quarter, but Huntsville closed the quarter on a 12-4 run to take a 17-12 following the first quarter.

The Lady Panthers extended their lead to 27-15 with three minutes left in the first half.

Hartselle outscored Huntsville 7-5 over the final minutes of the first to make the score 32-22 heading into halftime.

The Lady Panthers’ largest lead came early in the third quarter when they went on a 6-2 run to push the lead to 38-24. The Lady Tigers, however, answered by outscoring Huntsville 18-5 the rest of the third quarter to cut the Lady Panthers’ lead to 43-42 heading into the final quarter.

The Huntsville girls opened the fourth quarter on an 8-3 run to extend their lead to 51-45. The Lady Tigers cut the lead to 54-52 with a 7-3 run.

The Lady Panthers used a 5-0 run to take a 57-52 lead, but Hartselle again answered the bell with a 5-0 run to tie the game with less than a minute remaining.

Huntsville freshman Jae Smith, who scored a career-high 41 points, hit two free throws to seal the 59-57 victory.

Masyn Marchbanks finished with 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, and four steals to lead Hartselle (7-5). Karleigh Shipley added 11 points, three rebounds, and two steals.

Freshman Mary Francis Itsede had her first double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds; both were career-highs.

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