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Hillcrest girls defense smothers Bryant

TUSCALOOSA | The first half of Friday night’s girls high school basketball game between the Hillcrest Patriots and the Paul W. Bryant Stampede was a defensive stalemate.

In the second half the Patriots found a way to convert their stellar defense into offense to secure a 40-17 win.

"We talked about our defense at halftime," Hillcrest coach Jerome Elliott said. "Defensively, we were letting them off too easy on one or two dribbles."

Elliott said the second-half dominance started on the defensive end of the floor, paving the way for Hillcrest to outscore Bryant 13-1 in the third quarter. Hillcrest outscored Bryant 9-4 in the fourth quarter.

"We had to be more patient on the offensive end," Elliott said. "We did that in the second half. We got better looks."

One shooter who found success in the second half was Carmen Chaparro, who scored eight points. Six of those came in an 8-2 run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter, including her buzzer-beater 3-pointer to end the third.

"She doesn’t take (3-pointers) as much as I’d like her to," Elliott said. "She can make that shot at a great rate."

Charity Brown’s seven points were second to Chaparro for Hillcrest.

"She’s the kind of player that can make plays for you," Elliott said. "Sometimes she can hurt you trying to make those plays, but most of the time she’s going to make good decisions."

For the Patriots, Anel Minor scored six points and contributed four blocks. Kyisha Mills also scored six points.

The Stampede was led by Destinee Wilson and Jade Ledet, who both scored six points. Wilson scored four points to open the game, giving Bryant its only lead.

The Stampede will host McAdory on Monday, while the Patriots host Gadsden City today.