CATOOSA — For the second time in a week, Luther’s girls made life miserable for second-ranked Dale.
Luther outscored Dale 20-8 in the second half Friday en route to a 41-27 Class 2A area tournament victory.
Dale saw its season concluded when it scored just four points in both the third and fourth quarters. Luther tallied 14 fourth-quarter points.
The Lady Lions inflicted a 48-45 overtime loss on Dale at the regional tournament.
Friday, Dale (26-5) had one of its leanest shooting nights of the year — 10 of 36 from the field (27.7 percent) and 6 of 11 from the charity stripe (54.5 percent).
Dale was just 12.2 percent (1 of 9) from beyond the 3-point line.
Mikayla Rutland, one of three Dale seniors, posted a team-high 8 points, including a 3-pointer, and shared rebounding honors with Claire Chastain with six. Chastain, also a senior, notched five points.
Luther hit just 13-of-27 free throws for 48.1 percent.
Dale’s second-half production consisted of 3 field goals and 2 charity tosses.
“They used some switching man-to-man defense, sagging off a couple of our girls,” Dale coach Josh Forsythe said. “When we did get to the rim, we couldn’t finish.
“We played really hard, fighting until the final buzzer. I am proud of our effort. This has been one of the most enjoyable years I’ve had as a coach. This is an incredible group. I am really proud of these seniors.”
Brenlee Sheppard finished with three rebounds.
Senior Rylee Thompson scored two points. Jaydn Miller, a senior, is the team manager.
“Give Luther credit. They are a scrappy, hard-nosed team,” Forsythe said.