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Priceville comes alive late, returns to regional finals

Feb. 19—HANCEVILLE — When it comes to playing at Wallace State, sometimes it helps to have been there before.

In Priceville's case, Monday afternoon it helped a lot.

Playing in the semifinals of the 4A Northwest Regional tournament against Hamilton, Priceville was trailing 42-41 in the game's final seconds. So, the Bulldogs drew upon years of tournament experience, scoring five points in the final 22 seconds to take the win 47-42.

"Whoo! These girls are just fighters; they're winners. I love these girls," enthused Priceville head coach Terrie Nelson. "For my seniors, this is their third or fourth time playing in this tournament, so they have that experience and they know how to win."

Junior Lillyan Bloodworth was the game's hero in the final seconds, sinking the go-ahead shot to give Priceville a 43-42 lead. Bloodworth then stole the ensuing inbound pass and delivered it to Abby Langlois for another score. Carly Jo Nelson scored the final basket to seal the win.

Langlois, a sophomore, had possibly her best game yet in a season already filled with impressive stats. Priceville's star player scored a game high 21 points and grabbed 22 rebounds.

"That's not normal for me," Langlois said. "It was physical out there, constant pushing and shoving, but my goal was to go out there and grab rebounds because my coach said it was a priority."

"She's modest, but I would say she's had about 15 double-doubles this season," Nelson said. "She's been a machine, and did I mention she's just a sophomore?"

Ashlyn Johnson, a senior, and Bloodworth each added eight points for Priceville. Aubrey Sorrells led Hamilton with 15.

With the win, Priceville returns to the Northwest Regional final, which will take place Wednesday at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs will face a familiar foe, No. 1-ranked Good Hope.

Even though they're the defending Northwest champions, the Bulldogs feel they have something to prove.

"We haven't beat (Good Hope) yet. We've lost to them three times," Johnson said. "Each time it's been close, so it's time for us to go prove we can win."

—caleb.suggs@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2395. Twitter @CalebSuggs2