Coalfield, Sunbright Middle split to secure district seeding

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By Goose Lindsay

It wasn’t easy, but the Sunbright Middle School Lady Tigers secured the No. 1 seed in this week’s TMSAA Area 4-A Tournament with a 33-27 victory over Coalfield last week.

Coalfield is now the No. 2 seed entering tournament play later this week.

Last week’s contest was close throughout and it wasn’t until the closing seconds that Sunbright secured the victory.

Coalfield took the lead early as Alexis Morrison scored 5 points in leading the Lady Jackets to an 8-5 lead after one period of play.

Callie Smith scored all 5 points for the Lady Tigers in the opening quarter.

The second quarter was also close as Sunbright won the frame 8-7 to close with 14-13 at intermission.

Four players scored for the Lady Tigers in the frame, while Lydia Byrd scored 5 of Coalfield’s 6 points in the second quarter.

Sunbright’s Lindsey Brown scored just 2 points in the first period, but she caught fire in the third period and propelled Sunbright to a 23-21 lead with six minutes left to play.

Brown buried two 3-pointers and scored 8 total points in the frame.

Sunbright had been outscored 9-2 at the free-throw line through three periods of play, but the Lady Tigers took advantage of opportunities at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to secure the win.

Smith scored 5 points from the field in the frame, while her teammates mad 5 free throws down the stretch to outscore Coalfield 10-6 in the fourth quarter.

Smith (12 points) and Brown (10 points) led Sunbright in scoring, while B yrd paced the Lady Jackets with 10 points.

Sunbright (33) Boles 2, Nitzschke 3, Trent 2, Smith 12, Brown 10, Shannon 4.

Coalfield (27) Lowe 2, Byrd 10, Bunch 6, Morrison 7, Jackson 2.

The Coalfield Middle School Yellow Jackets defended their home floor and wrapped up the No. 1 seed in this week’s TMSAA Area 4-A Tournament with a 45-35 victory over Sunbright last week.

Coalfield used a balanced attack in grabbing a 12-7 lead after one period of play. Five Jackets scored with Brayden Burgess and Isiah Duncan each hitting 3-pointers.

Cole Branstetter hit a 3-pointer and scored 5 of Sunbright’s 7 points in the opening quarter.

The Tigers picked up the pace offensively and pulled to within 24-20 by halftime.

Houston Bryant led five Sunbright players in scoring in the second period with 4 points.

Cole Hines ripped a 3-pointer and scored 5 points for Coalfield in the frame.

Sunbright had more players scored than Coalfield in the third period, but all four Tigers scored 2 points each while Bryson Ridge and Landon Lowe scored 4 points each to give the Jackets a 35-28 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Ridge then had a big fourth quarter with 6 points, and that was enough to help the Jackets hold off the Tigers down the stretch.

Ridge led all scorers on the day with 14 points. Lowe (10 points) also reached double digits for Coalfield in the win.

Bryant led Sunbright in defeat with 12 points.

Sunbright will be the No. 2 seed in the TMSAA Area 4-A Tournament.

Sunbright (35) Nitzschke 2, Branstetter 9, Freels 5, Ward 2, Bryant 12, Watson 2, Sexton 3.

Coalfield (45) Lowe 10, Duncan 6, Hines 9, Ridge 14, Burgess 6.