JACKSONVILLE – The Geraldine Lady Bulldogs were proud to make their first regional semifinals appearance in 10 years Saturday, but couldn’t pull off the upset win they needed to keep their season alive against the No. 2-ranked Pisgah Lady Eagles.
Pisgah’s leading scorers, including Auburn commitment Annie Hughes, consistently found ways to score and turned Lady Bulldog turnovers into quick baskets on the other end.
“I thought Pisgah showed why they’re ranked where they are and why they haven’t lost to a team in Alabama yet this season,” Geraldine head coach Jeremy Smith said. “They kind of put it on us today and we had no answer for it. Credit goes to them for how they work and the program they run.”
Geraldine trailed by 10 less than four minutes into the game and was never able to cut the lead to less than seven after that point.
The Lady Eagles sprinted out to a 23-11 lead at the end of the first. They went on to lead 50-22 at halftime, 63-30 at the end of the third and held on late for a 77-41 win.
Hughes missed only twice on 15 attempts from the field and finished with 31 points. The Lady Eagles also had solid scoring efforts from Kaylee Vaught and Madison Myers. Vaught netted 13 on 4-of-8 shooting and Myers shot 5-for-7 to score 11 points.
Geraldine senior Karlee Hale made 9-of-12 attempts from the free-throw line and led the Lady Bulldogs in her final game with the team with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Jordan Combs followed with six points and Cassie Black netted five.
Josie Roberts, Joanna Hammett and Shelby Trester all scored four each, Carlie Johnson and Jessie Roberts netted two each and Adyson Cagle finished with one point.
“It was huge to get here,” Smith said about the team ending their 10-year regional drought. “We brought our girls for the last two days just look around, and we had several that had never even been here, not even to watch a game, much less to be in one. It was kind of ironic playing Pisgah today, who is a regular here and one of the best programs around. Getting this program to that point is certainly something we want to strive for.”