GALLATIN Gallatin High senior forward Keile Hale feels that her team is in a good condition, literally.
That good condition was evident during the latter stages of the Lady Wave’s first contest of the BodyGuard Sports Medicine Christmas Classic against visiting Springfield.
Facing a Lady Jacket full-court press for the entire game, Gallatin managed to do enough on offense while limiting Springfield to less than 35-percent shooting in a 38-33 win on Friday evening.
Hale netted a career-high 13 points for Gallatin.
“Coach (Malcolm) Montgomery had us do a ton of conditioning in the summer and fall just for games like this and (for) when we get into tournament play,” Hale said. “He (Montgomery) has a new system and ways of doing things, and it has required us to be a in a lot better shape, which we need to be.”
Though Gallatin never trailed, Springfield (1-9) managed to stay close thanks in large part due to 4-of-14 free-throw shooting by the Lady Wave, including 3 of 9 in the fourth quarter.
A 3-pointer from Hale followed by a basket from junior guard Grace Pincock stretched the Gallatin lead to 35-24, but Springfield quickly trimmed the lead down to six with a layin followed by a 3-pointer from Imani Collier that brought the Lady Jackets to within striking distance with 4:38 remaining.
Springfield guard Adaria Shannon brought her team even closer as her 3-pointer from the right side of the court pulled the Lady Jackets to within four points (36-32) with 3:08 remaining.
However, the Gallatin defense held Springfield to without a field goal over the final three minutes to preserve the lead.
“We’ll see some things that we need to work on as a team when we look at some stats and check out some other things,” Montgomery said. “Keile (Hale) played a great game tonight, and I thought Tiera McDermott really tried to step up and play the point (guard). Grace Pincock gave us a great effort tonight, and it was a good win for the team since we didn’t play as well as we wanted and still got a win.”
Gallatin opened the game on a 10-2 run, with five different players scoring.
McDermott’s jump shot with 2:19 left in the first quarter gave the Lady Green Wave a 10-2 lead.
Hale connected on a 3-pointer to open the second quarter that extended the lead to 16-6, but the Lady Yellow Jackets managed to trim the margin to 21-13 following a 3-pointer from Sarah Gallman.
Shu’tyah Bowens scored the first four points of the second half for Springfield, and a free throw from Sarah Duncan with 6:39 left in the third quarter trimmed the Gallatin lead to 21-18.
However, a basket by Pincock started a surge that helped the Lady Wave build an eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Gallatin captured a 56-45 victory over visiting Springfield in a Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association Hall of Champions game on Nov. 21.
SPRINGFIELD (33) – Shu’tyah Bowens 12, Imani Collier 12, Sarah Duncan 3, Sarah Gallman 3, Adaria Shannon 3.
GALLATIN (38) – Keile Hale 13, Grace Pincock 6, Anastasia Blackmore 4, Tiera McDermott 4, Grayson Pryor 4, Rene’ Hudson 2, Katie Whitefield 2, Sha’Mari Johnson 1, Lamonica Mintlow 1, Katey Rogers 1.
Half: 21-13, Gallatin. Three-point goals: Springfield 3 (Collier 1, Gallman 1, Shannon 1), Gallatin 3 (Hale 3). Records: Springfield 1-9, Gallatin 5-6.