By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – After getting their first win over county rival Hatley in six years back in November, Hamilton decided to make it three in a row over the Lady Tigers with a 37-33 win on Friday to advance to the Monroe County Tournament championship game.
The Lady Lions face host Aberdeen tonight at 6 for the girls’ tournament championship.
“We had a very good defensive effort tonight. That’s something we’ve been concentrating on,” Hamilton coach Sue Verner said. “We always think that if we can’t score, then they can’t either.”
Hamilton carried a 7-point lead into halftime, but Hatley cut the advantage to two near the end of the third quarter when Jamelle Vance hit a 3-pointer.
Mary Willis hit a pair of free throws to put the Lady Lions back up 5 at the start of the fourth, before Hatley went a perfect 4-4 in its next two trips to the line. Aaliyah Verner’s three opened the lead back up to four, and the Lady Tigers were unable to close the gap.
Willis led Hamilton with 12 points, while Vance scored 12 for Hatley in the loss. Hamilton (13-2) previously beat Hatley in regular season game on Nov. 15 and also in the Hatley Tournament championship. Both of their losses this season came at the hands of New Hope.
“I think our division win over Okolona on Tuesday gave them a wakeup call, and they’re finally being patient,” Verner said.
(B) Aberdeen 102, Hamilton 34: Aberdeen cruised out to a 51-17 halftime lead to secure its spot in the boys’ championship game tonight with five players in double figures. Jakeese Walker led the Bulldogs with 15 points and six rebounds. Ben Seely had 12 points for Hamilton in the loss, while Dominque Dobbs scored 11.
(B) Amory 77, Hatley 23: Amory snapped a three-game losing streak with the win to advance to play Aberdeen in the tournament championship. Dario Robinson scored 26 points in the win, while Nick Beeks finished with 22 points.