JACKSONVILLE — The season came to a close for the Ragland Lady Purple Devils Monday as they lost to Spring Garden 41-32 in the Northeast Regional Tournament.
They finished the season with a record of 23-8.
Spring Garden 41, Ragland 32
For the first time all season — and probably in her career — Kailey Echols was held scoreless in a game. Echols, who suffered an ankle injury in the sub-regional game against Woodville, had not practiced all week.
Still banged up and bruised, Echols started for Ragland Monday, but picked up three fouls in the first quarter, and sat out the second quarter.
Ragland jumped out to a 7-1 lead, but Spring Garden finished the quarter on a 10-0 run to take an 11-7 lead.
By halftime, Ragland trailed 22-16.
Spring Garden continued to outscore Ragland each quarter. They outscored Ragland 12-9 in the third quarter to take a 34-25 lead.
With Echols struggling offensively, Belle McKinney and Kia Lindsay knew they had to step up their game, but it still was not enough as Ragland fell 41-32.
McKinney led Ragland with 11 points with Lindsay close behind with 10 points. Leah Byers and Kerston Looney scored four points each while Callie Kay added three points.
Ragland coach Rush Rutledge said the turning factor in the game was Kailey Echols picking up three fouls in the first quarter.
“We played poorly,” Rutledge said. “We couldn’t make the shots. We played good defense, but we needed to play great defense to win.”
Ragland 49, Woodville 47
The sub-regional game at Ragland against Woodville came down to the wire, and was not won until Kailey Echols hit the game-winning shot with 1.3 seconds remaining in the game.
The Lady Purple Devils used a stingy defense and full court pressure early on to take a 6-0 lead and an 8-2 lead. By the end of the first quarter, Ragland was up 16-9.
Woodville outscored Ragland 10-9 in the second period to make the halftime score 25-19.
Then on the first play of the second half, Kailey Echols twisted her ankle and did not play the rest of the third quarter.
Without Echols, Ragland still held onto its lead, and was on top 35-30 after three quarters of play.
Woodville climbed back into the game, and even with Echols back in the game, they found a way to eventually tie the game at 47-47.
That’s when Ragland set up for the final shot, a shot Echols made with 1.3 seconds left. It gave Ragland the victory and the chance to move on to JSU.
Echols finished the game with a double-double as she scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. McKinney pumped in 10 points while Lindsay added six points. Byers totaled five points while Abreka Carson had two points. Kay netted one point.