By Michael Lindsay
The DeKalb County Tigerettes overcame a near 20-point deficit en route to a 53-51 victory over Grace Christian Academy Wednesday afternoon in the Frank’s Shootout in Sparta.
“We had a slow start; this is our third game in three days,” said DeKalb County head coach Brandy Alley. “Our shots were not falling for us and our energy just wasn’t there. It started with some girls on my bench with high energy.”
DeKalb County trailed by as many as 17 points (33-16) in the third quarter and nine points in the fourth before coming back to win by two.
“We didn’t change much,” Alley said. “We were getting the shots we wanted; they just would not go in. Defensively, we made some adjustments because they were exposing our rotations.”
Avery Agee led DeKalb County with 20 points, all of which came in the second half. Agee went 9-11 from the free-throw line in the win. Tigerette guard Ella VanVranken scored 19 points along with 10 by forward Tess Barton.
“Avery has had a little bit of a down spell, and today she did what a junior with experience does,” Alley said. “She showed up and was ready to go.”
Grace Christian held a 12-8 lead after one quarter and pushed their advantage to 19-0 midway through the second quarter. The Lady Rams hit a buzzer-beater to take a 25-15 lead at halftime.
Grace Christian opened the second half on an 8-1 run to take a 33-16 lead over DeKalb County midway through the third quarter.
Facing a 17-point deficit, DeKalb County’s offense came to life as the Tigerettes reeled off a 12-0 run late in the third to cut their deficit to 33-28. The Lady Rams made the final basket of the third period to push their lead to 35-28 entering the fourth quarter.
Grace Christian scored on the first possession of the fourth quarter to grow their advantage to 9 points (37-28).
GCA held a 39-30 lead in the fourth quarter before then Tigerettes stormed back to cut their deficit to 3 points (41-38) via an Ella VanVranken basket.
DeKalb County cut their lead to a single point later in the frame as an Agee steal led to an Ella VanVranken layup to make the score 46-45 Grace with 1:50 remaining.
Following a Grace missed basket, DeKalb County took their first lead of the game with 1 minute remaining as Tess Barton made a shot in the paint to give the Tigerettes a 47-46 advantage.
DeKalb County held off Grace Christian as Agee went 6-6 from the free-throw line in the final 30 seconds to give her team a 53-48 lead. Grace Christian made a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it wasn’t enough as DeKalb County held on to win by a 53-51 final score.
The Tigerettes improve to 6-5 overall and will face South Gibson tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in the Frank’s Shootout in Sparta.
DeKalb County (53): Avery Agee 20, Ella VanVranken 19, Tess Barton 10, Chloe VanVranken 4