By Andrew Moore
SPRING HILL — Weathering a hot Franklin start, Spring Hill iced out the Lady Admirals on Monday night — earning a spot in the District 11-AAA tournament semifinals and guaranteeing a berth in the Region 6-AAA tourney with a 52-39 win.
Spring Hill outscored Franklin 13-1 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead into the final frame. In fact, the Lady Raiders didn’t allow a single point from the field until the final three minutes.
“I think as the game went on, we played better and better,” Spring Hill coach Matt Horton said. “They fought hard, had some adversity. (Our team) played through it, and I’m proud of it.”
Other than one practice Sunday afternoon, this was the first action either team had for nearly a week and a half, but the layoff wasn’t much of a factor for Spring Hill’s leading scorer, Sierra Stedman. The offense went through the senior forward, as she recorded 22 points in the win.
During the fourth quarter, Spring Hill’s Cole Alderson, who had 12 points in the win, was assessed a pair of technical fouls, meaning she will miss the final two games of the tournament.
“I don’t condone what she did, but I do question the second one because their entire bench stood up and taunted her and when she kinda did something back, they gave her a technical,” Horton said. “I’m not sure that was justified. The first one definitely was, she shouldn’t have done what she did, but you can’t let an entire bench stand up and taunt somebody.”
While the taste of victory and advancement in the tournament is fulfilling for Coach Horton, he says he’s happiest for his players, and said he hopes the momentum of getting a district tournament win can push this team further into the postseason.
For several members of the Lady Raiders’ team, this is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to leaving the program better than they found it.
“You know, when I got here, it wasn’t very good but they’ve stuck it out and they’ve been through some bad times so I feel really, really good for them and I’m proud as I can be for them,” Horton said.
Spring Hill girs 52, Franklin 39
S 14 11 13 14 –52
F 18 7 1 13 — 39
Spring Hill (52) — Kat Carter 2, Cole Alderson 12, Prairie Stedman 6, Belle Brashear 4, Sierra Stedman 22, Jaycee Brashear 4, KeyIvory Scales 2
Franklin (39) — Jean Costello 5, Amy Elliot 3, Brenn Swyger 6, Lyla Gardner 6, Kate O’Neil 13, Dylann Garner 6
3 pointers — Spring Hill 1 (Stedman), Franklin 3 (Costello, Elliot, O’Neil)