Lady Bears, Generals, Tigers advancePublished 6:38pm Friday, February 11, 2011
The Edward Bell girls picked up right where they left off in the regular season in Thursday’s first-round game in the Class 1A, 6 Tournament.
Winners of eight straight entering the postseason, the Lady Bears whipped Loachapoka 65-32 in Camp Hill to advance to Saturday’s area championship tilt against St. Jude, which defeated Notasulga 62-52 on Thursday.
Kierra Billingsley had 23 points and Desharte Edwards had 22 to lead the Lady Bears (18-4).
“It was kind of touch and go at the start, and (Loachapoka) was still in the game at halftime,” head coach Nancy Shealey said. “We pulled away in the third, but the game felt closer than what the score showed.”
Edward Bell led 17-11 after one and 36-22 at halftime before outscoring the Lady Indians 20-6 in the third quarter to put it away.
Though Billingsley and Edwards did most of the scoring for the Lady Bears on Thursday, the team has been getting more contributions from other players in the past month of play, which has boosted production. Edward Bell is averaging 57.5 points per contest during its nine-game winning streak.
“More people have been scoring and that’s a big help,” Shealey said. “I don’t have to depend on a certain few on offense.
“Janeisha Moss has been playing well offensively and defensively and throwing in some points here and there. Jernekia Floyd has rebounded well all year, but she’s starting to shoot more and LaQuashous Stowes has had a few big games for us.”
The Lady Bears and Lady Pirates split both meetings this season, with both winning on their own home court. No. 7 St. Jude (17-4) won 76-59 in Montgomery on Dec. 10, while Edward Bell won 67-54 in Camp Hill on Jan. 27.
“Defense once again will be our toughest job,” Shealey said. “We have to shut down (Taylor) Sippial and contain their 6-footer (Kaseama) Ashbourne.”
Ashbourne posted 26 points and 15 rebounds in St. Jude’s Thursday win, while Sippial added 14 points and 10 assists. Tip-off is 7 p.m. Saturday.
HBHS moves on with 43-29 victory over LaFayette
Mike Boyd’s Lady Generals put the clamps on LaFayette in the first half of Thursday’s opening game in the Class 2A, Area 8 Tournament at Lanett to clinch a spot in the sub-regional round.
HBHS held the Lady Bulldogs to two points in the first quarter and nine in the first half en route to a 43-29 victory. The Lady Generals will meet Lanett, who defeated Reeltown 47-37, in the title game Monday at 5 p.m.
“Rebounding was the key,” said Boyd, whose team is now 26-3 and ranked 10th in the state in the final ASWA poll. “It was one shot for them, and that was it. Free throws in the second half were big also. We were 7 of 9 in the fourth quarter, and that goes a long way.”
LaFayette had given the Lady Generals one of their three losses during the regular season.
HBHS had an eight-point lead at halftime, though LaFayette trimmed off one point of that margin in the third quarter. In the fourth, the Lady Generals outscored LHS 16-9. Rachel Smothers was 5 of 6 from the charity stripe in the final eight minutes and closed with nine points.
Jessica Harden led the way with 14 points, while Brittney Keel tallied nine. Tyronica Shaver paced LaFayette with 12.
“(Shaver) averaged 19 points against us in the regular season, and we kind of ran a box-and-1 defense on her (Thursday),” Boyd said. “Kaylee Jones and Katie Martin did a good job of containing her all night.”
Jones and Martin scored four points apiece.
Lanett and HBHS both picked up slim wins over the other during the season. Boyd said another huge effort on the glass will be needed if his team is to capture the area crown.
“When they beat us, they got all kinds of second-chance points,” Boyd said. “We’re going to have to box out and play bigger than we are.”
Lady Tigers squeak by Elmore County in tourney
The Dadeville Lady Tigers kept their season alive with a 38-37 victory over Elmore County in Thursday’s Class 4A, Area 5 Tournament at Beauregard.
Dadeville had lost twice to the Lady Panthers by double digits during the regular season.
Rae Williams had 11 points and nine rebounds, Destiny Green had six and 10 in those categories and Nee Nee Hart totaled seven points.
The Lady Tigers take on Beauregard, which beat Holtville 82-17, Saturday at 5 p.m.