Lady Bulldogs get unexpected surprise for third-place tournament finish

Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Lady Bulldog Heaven McGarrah (right) launches a layup during the Decatur-Pea Ridge JV basketball contest in Decatur Thursday night. The Lady Blackhawks claim the 52-15 victory over the Lady Bulldogs during the second round of the Decatur Hoop Fest basketball tournament.

DECATUR -- An interesting turn of events helped propel the Decatur Lady Bulldogs into a third-place finish as the girls co-hosted the first week-long Decatur Hoop Fest at both the Decatur Middle School Gym and Peterson-Owens Fieldhouse in Decatur.

The Lady Bulldogs started its tournament action in a contest with the Haas Hall-Bentonville Lady Huskies on Nov. 14 in the Decatur Middle School Gym.

The Lady Bulldogs took control of the first half, outscoring the Lady Huskies by 20 points and holding Haas Hall to only eight. The Lady Bulldogs went on to take their first victory of the 2022 season by defeating the Lady Huskies, 51-30

Annebelle Bell led the offensive drive, scoring a total of 21 points. Heaven McGarrah was also in double figures with 12 points. Other Lady Bulldogs contributing to the win included Jackie Mendoza with eight, Jazmine Herrera with five, Shaylee Morales with four and Lorelai Tuninstra with one.

Decatur moved on into the winner's bracket, where the team squared off against the Pea Ridge Lady Blackhawks junior varsity Thursday night at Peterson-Owens Fieldhouse.

Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, their Monday night winning streak faded away as the Lady Blackhawks took the second-round win, 52-15, sending the Lady Bulldogs into the third-place round scheduled for Saturday morning.

McGarrah was the leading scorer for Decatur with six points, followed by Herrera with five and Bell with four.

As the Decatur Lady Bulldogs prepared for their consolation match during their Friday afternoon practice session, word came that their opponent forfeited, and the Lady Bulldogs secured a third-place finish in the Decatur Hoop Fest.

Only one other time during the old Decatur Holiday Hoops Festival did the Lady Bulldogs finish third.

photo Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Lady Bulldog Annabelle Bell puts up a shot from inside the lane during the Decatur-Pea Ridge JV basketball game, which was part of the Decatur Hoop Fest basketball tournament in Decatur Thursday night. After winning the first round of the Decatur tournament on Nov. 14, the Lady Bulldog fell to the Lady Blackhawks, 52-15.