The Handley Lady Tigers are one win away from the state final four.
Handley led from start to finish and held off a late Trinity rally to secure a 47-41 victory in the semifinal of the Southeast Regional in Montgomery Monday afternoon.
It's the first trip to a regional final – as a player or coach - for Handley head coach Courtney Screws, who saw her team lose in the regional semifinal by one point a year ago.
Handley got 18 points and 9 rebounds from junior Grace Rittenhouse, and Rittenhouse and Teanna Watts (10 points, 9 rebounds) both came up big in the second half.
Handley never trailed in the game, but it was a close contest throughout as the Lady Tigers' largest lead only reached eight points. Handley led 39-31 early in the fourth quarter but that saw that lead cut to 39-38 before a clutch basket by Rittenhouse cushioned the lead once again. Handley only hit 10-of-28 free throws in the game, but they made just enough down the stretch to keep the lead secure.
Handley will take on defending regional champion Childersburg in the regional final Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Garrett Colliseum in Montgomery.