HANCEVILLE — Lynn put an abrupt end to Shoals Christian’s magical postseason run to the Class 1A girls Northwest Regional tournament Wednesday night.
The Bears used a big second half push to pull away for a 52-26 victory, ending the Flame’s season.
Shoals Christian(10-18) upset No. 3 Covenant Christian in the first round of the area tournament and then topped Tharptown to earn the trip the regional. But No. 4 Lynn shook off a slow start to advance to the regional final for the second straight season. The Bears (30-1) play R.A. Hubbard in the championship Saturday at 9 a.m. It’s the fourth straight season the two teams have met in a regional game.
Shoals Christian coach Carl Bullard said he was proud of the effort his team made to reach the regional.
“It’s all about my kids,” he said. “I just tried to stay out of their way and let them play their game. We started 1-9 and we could have quit a long time ago, but they kept believing; they kept working and kept doing the things I asked them to do.”
Kyra Agnew, who led Shoals Christian with 13 points, said playing in the regional “was incredible.”
“It was something no one thought we could do,” she said. “When we did it, if felt like we could overcome anything.”
For a while, it appeared the Flame would continue their postseason run. Shoals Christian (10-18) fell behind 10-3 in the first quarter but was within 17-14 at the half. In the final 16 minutes, though, the Flame found points hard to come by. Lynn outscored Shoals Christian 35-12 in the second half.
“Tonight, we just couldn’t buy a bucket in the third quarter,” Bullard said as he watched Lynn go on a 17-3 run. “That’s what hurt us so bad. Give credit to Lynn. They are an excellent team.”
Jackee Dodd, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, led Lynn’s second-half charge. Getting into the paint via the dribble, Dodd either scored or found Lindsey Tompkin for easy back-door layups. Dodd finished with six assists while Tompkin scored a game-high 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting.
“We moved the ball faster and that allowed us to get better shots,” Lynn coach Adam Gray said. “We were a little lethargic in the first half.”
“We came out ready to play,” Dodd said. “It couldn’t have been nerves because we’ve been here a million times. When people run zones on us it’s hard to play our uptempo game.”
Lynn had a 42-16 rebounding advantage, including 19 on the offensive boards that resulted in 12 points. The Bears also were 13 of 16 at the free-throw line.
Now, it’s another meeting with R.A. Hubbard.
“I’ve thought about this all season,” Dodd said. “It’s our senior year. We’re going down fighting; we’re not losing to them again if I have anything to do with it.”
Contact Gregg Dewalt at 256-740-5748 or email@example.com. Follow @greggdewalt on Twitter.