Girls Basketball Update

Updated 8:59 am on February 22, 2018

Saint James conquers region, heads to Birmingham

Saint James Region Champs

By TIM GAYLE

DOTHAN – Even after dominating Thomasville for the better part of 32 minutes, even after storming the court in a wild celebration, even after getting a bear hug from teammate Ashley White, St. James senior Micala Fisanick couldn’t believe her team had earned a trip to the state tournament.

“I was looking forward to a moment like this ever since I was not even thought of,” she said. “I was sitting down by some of my teammates and I was like, I can’t believe this is happening.

“It is unbelievable, to work so hard. To see it actually play out in front of our eyes is incredible.”

Seanna Brooks drives in for a shot in Dothan (Photo: Bryan Hubbard)

St. James earned its first-ever trip to the state tournament in Birmingham with a 36-26 win over Thomasville in the South Regional finals on Wednesday morning in the Dothan Civic Center. To say the win was a gritty, hard-fought defensive struggle would be putting it mildly. The two teams battled for the first half of both the first and third quarters without scoring a point, struggling to find any offensive rhythm for most of the morning.

“I think the first part of the first quarter, we were so tight,” St. James coach Katie Barton said. “We were driving in there and banking it off the backboard. We were really tight. They just needed to relax and settle down.”

The Trojans looked bad in the first quarter, missing their first five shots from the field and adding a pair of turnovers before Mallory Taylor finally made a move on the baseline for a layup and the first points of the game with 4:14 left in the quarter. As bad as St. James had looked, Thomasville was far worse, making just one field goal in 12 first-quarter shots while committing four turnovers. Yet the Tigers trailed just 6-2 entering the second quarter.

Mallie Taylor tries to get around a foe and head inside during the region final (Photo: Bryan Hubbard)

St. James rolled out to a 23-9 halftime lead, then went nearly five minutes in the third quarter without a point, allowing Thomasville to stay within striking distance with a 10-point deficit entering the fourth quarter. After a quick basket by Fisanick, the Trojans would go 5:07 without a point, allowing the Tigers to pull within four.

“We got a little bit in panic mode there and we were a little careless with the ball,” Barton said. “We had about five or six turnovers in the third quarter there that we probably shouldn’t have had, so we just had to settle down and go back to running St. James’ stuff and focusing more on us and taking care of the ball.”

Barton called a timeout with 2:45 left after St. James had missed seven consecutive shots.

“I think that we started to get panicked,” White said. “I think they got in our heads a little bit but once Coach took the timeout and she talked to us a little bit that’s when we got relaxed … and got in the flow of things and finished out with the win.”

Coming out of the timeout, Fisanick threw a pass to Annie Skoneki who threw the ball back to Fisanick as she raced down the lane for an easy layup to put the Trojans back in control.

“Annie made a great read,” Barton said. “She saw (Fisanick) was open. Micala made a great cut and she finished. We told them we only wanted layups or short jumpers in the paint and right out of the get-go, Annie found her.”

Taylor added a pair of free throws for a comfortable cushion as the Tigers missed their last seven shots from the field, shooting just 24.4 percent (7 of 24) for the game.

“Sometimes, we’ve just got to slow down a little bit,” said Fisanick, who had 21 points in the win to earn most valuable player honors in the regional. “For a short amount of time, we were kind of playing their game instead of ours. We just had to switch back to our game.”

The win put St. James (25-6) in the state tournament for the first time in its current format that started in 1994. The Trojans lost in the 1A semifinals to Red Level in 1984, in the 2A semifinals to Mars Hill Bible in 1989 and in the 2A finals to Mars Hill Bible in 1990 when the top eight girls teams qualified for the state tournament at Calhoun Community College.

“I just think it’s a good stepping stone,” Barton said. “Tradition is big and these girls have had a lot of great players that came before them and now they’re leaving their mark on the program and that’s a huge thing for them.”

It also marks the first trip to the state tournament for Barton, the school’s winningest coach who started coaching at the school in 2001-02.

“It feels amazing,” she said. “This is actually my first time as a coach going to the Final Four. These girls have worked hard from the beginning of the season and really invested in each other and sacrificed a lot so it just feels amazing to watch their hard work pay off.”

St. James will face Deshler (32-1) on Tuesday in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex at 3 p.m. The Tigers qualified for Birmingham with a 78-56 win over Danville for their 21 st consecutive win. Deshler’s only loss was to LeFlore, who qualified for the 6A state tournament on Tuesday with a 63-40 rout of Blount.

Joining Fisanick on the all-tournament team was White, along with the Thomasville trio of Alexandria Newberry, Mariah Williams and Tiyanna Blanks, Antania Hayes of Monroe County, Jaya Stewart of Monroe County and Virginia Dukes of UMS-Wright.

 

Updated at 1:46 pm on February 20, 2018

The Ezekiel Knights

In a rematch of last year’s State Title game, The Ezekiel Academy Varsity Lady Knights basketball team claimed their first ever State Championship by defeating the Evangel Lightning in a hard fought one point thriller by a final score of 38-37.   The Knights claimed their title at the Alabama Christian School Conference which was held at Samford University this past weekend.

-Special to The Indy

 

Updated at 9:19 am on February 14, 2018

Saint James girls smash Escambia, head to Dothan

By TIM GAYLE

The St. James girls didn’t hear too much about Escambia County before Tuesday night’s matchup but they heard all about Kelly Joyner.

The former standout was a member of the last team from St. James that reached the South Region semifinals in 2013 before losing to UMS-Wright. Meanwhile, the players knew little or nothing about their sub-regional opponent, Escambia County.

“We had no idea,” St. James senior Micala Fisanick said. “She would not let us watch any film. She told us very little about that team. People at school were asking me what I think. We had no idea, so we came out and in that first half we played as hard as we possibly could and got the outcome we wanted.”

Saint James guard Seanna Brooks runs past the Escambia defense to the basketball (Photo: Tim Gayle)

The Trojans owned a 20-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 36-11 lead at the half on the way to an easy 57-18 sub-regional victory over the Lady Blue Devils in the St. James gym on Tuesday night.

“I watched some game film on them but once you get to this point, you just look at it like everybody’s good,” St. James coach Katie Barton said. “We came out and our pressure kind of hurt them early and I think that helped us. We executed early. I thought later in the game we kind of relaxed.”

The starters left the floor late in the third quarter with a 45-13 lead, content that the speeches about Joyner would now be replaced by a new chapter.

“It just means so much,” Fisanick said. “I was thinking just before the game, ‘I am not ready for this to end.’ This team is so awesome and we’re so close. It means the world that we get to keep going forward.”

The Trojans (23-6) will face UMS-Wright (14-13) in the South Regional semifinal at the Dothan Civic Center on Saturday at noon. The winner will advance to the regional final next Wednesday at 9 a.m.

“I’m excited,” Barton said. “It’s been five years since we’ve been to the regional tournament. My girls are tired of me talking about Kelly Joyner, but it was her senior year. I just told them the last time we went we had the first-round matchup with UMS-Wright. We’re going back five years later. It’s been a little bit too long, so we’re just happy to be back in the regional tournament.”

Ashley White led St. James with 15 points, followed by Seanna Brooks with 12 and Fisanick and Annie Skoneki with nine points each. Canna Betts had nine points to lead Escambia County.

Five years ago, UMS-Wright pulled away for a 47-35 win. On Saturday, the Trojans hope to write a new chapter to the rivalry.

“She was telling us how we’re going to play UMS-Wright, who they lost to,” Fisanick said. “So I’m pretty excited to get another chance at them

 

Saint James girls whip Catholic, take area title

By TIM GAYLE

The two teams were locked in a tight defensive battle for all of the first quarter and the first couple of minutes in the second quarter.

When Catholic point guard Aleigha Walden went to the bench with her third personal foul, however, all the momentum shifted to St. James.

Saint James Seanna Brooks closely girds Catholic’s None Johnson in the Trojans area tournament victory. (Photo: Tim Gayle)

The Trojans scored the last 12 points of the first half, then cruised to a 42-30 victory over Catholic in the Class 4A Area 4 tournament championship game at St. James on Friday evening.

It was the first area tournament championship for St. James (22-6) since 2008, which gives the Trojans the home court advantage on Monday in the sub-regional round against Escambia County at 7 p.m.

“It’s nice to have one more home game,” St. James coach Katie Barton said. “The last couple of times we’ve gone to sub-regionals, we’ve been on the road and it’s an hour and a half, two-hour drive. It’s nice to be playing in our gym.”

The last time St. James hosted a sub-regional game (2008), the Trojans defeated Alabama Christian. Since then, the sub-regional round has not been kind to St. James. After winning at ACA in 2009, the Trojans lost at Livingston in 2010, at Andalusia in 2012, at Charles Henderson in 2014 and at Straughn in 2016. Their only win outside of Montgomery in that 11-year span came in 2013 at Charles Henderson, earning St. James its last berth in the regionals.

Catholic (15-11) will be on the road at Monroeville against Monroe County on Monday at 7 p.m. The Knights were at home last year, beating Ashford 62-36 to advance to the regionals in Dothan, where they defeated Monroe County 47-33.

“St. James came out determined and just outplayed us tonight,” Catholic coach Jill Clark said. “We’ve got to want it more than the team we play and we’ve got to make it happen.”

St. James held a slim lead (14-13) entering the second quarter but with 5:32 remaining in the first half, Walden picked up her third personal foul and went to the bench. The Knights didn’t score again until Walden returned to the floor and hit a 3-pointer with 7:29 left in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 10 points.

“We’ve got to keep her out of foul trouble,” Clark said. “We’ve got to play smarter and learn from it and stay on the floor. Obviously, it changes the entire chemistry of our team.”

Without Walden on the floor, Catholic’s offense struggled to find any continuity and maintain possession of the ball against the St. James defense.

“We talked about, beforehand, that any time Aleigha was out of the ballgame I was going to pressure (Catholic),” Barton said. “That’s what we decided to do this game was put some pressure on some of her other players early. Aleigha’s the leader of that team and runs the offense and she does a great job with that.

“When she ended up picking up that third foul in the first half, that’s what we did and I thought it was a game changer.”

That translated to the other end of the floor as well, with Micala Fisanick hitting a 3-pointer, assisting on another basket, then converting a three-point play with a free throw as part of a 12-0 run to take a 27-16 lead into the locker room at the half.

“Aleigha does a great job helping off on defense and closing gaps,” Barton said. “With her out of the game, the other girls played hard but they’re just a little less experienced. We feed off of our defense a lot, so when our defensive intensity went up, I feel like that’s one of the reasons Micala’s offensive intensity turned up.”

Fisanick was the tournament’s most valuable player and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Ashley White and Annie Skoneki, the Catholic duo of Walden and Jessie Clark, Trinity’s Madison Johnston, LAMP’s Aariel Johnson and BTW-Magnet’s Alysia Rogers.

Updated at 12:08 pm on February 9, 2018

Saint James continues to roll

By TIM GAYLE

St. James had four players in double figures and another (Morgan Parrish) with eight as the Trojans rolled into the area tournament championship with an easy 62-24  rout of BTW-Magnet on Wednesday night.

Annie Skoneki led the Trojans with 14 points. Micala Fisanick, Ashley White and Mallie Taylor all followed with 11 points each.

Saint James Micala Fisanick continues to lead the Trojans and was one of four players in double figures against BTW (Photo: Tim Gayle)

“My girls came out and played hard,” Barton said. “It was good having two days of practice (leading up to the tournament). We don’t get that often, so it’s nice to get in two days of practice and they were focused and played with a lot of energy. I just liked the overall effort.”

St. James (21-6) will face Catholic for the area tournament championship in the St. James gym on Friday at 5:30 p.m., but Wednesday’s win assured the Trojans of a berth in the state playoffs. The winner of the St. James-Catholic game will face the loser of the Monroe County-Escambia County game at home in a sub-regional game on Monday at 7 p.m., while the Catholic-St. James loser will travel to play the winner. Christiana Hannon had 11 points to lead BTW-Magnet.

Catholic wins easily

By TIM GAYLE

Jessie Clark picked up the offense with scoring both on the perimeter and in the paint and the Catholic defense held Trinity in check in a 44-22 win in the Area 4 tournament at St. James on Wednesday night.

Clark finished with a game-high 17 points, followed by Aleigha Walden with 13.

Trinity’s Nicole Brown (22) drives around a Catholic defender (Photo: Tim Gayle)

“The last time we played them, they played a great game and they hit the shots they had to hit, but I didn’t feel like we were very intense on defense,” Catholic coach Jill Clark said. “So we worked really hard on trying to step up the intensity, getting up in their face a little more and not letting them have open looks. And controlling the boards.”

Madison Johnston had seven to lead Trinity. Madison McKelvey, the team’s leading scorer, managed just six.

“We had played them very well the other times we had played them, but I also knew we had shot the ball well those other times,” Trinity coach Blake Smith said. “I was afraid the law of averages might catch up. And they did a better job of not letting us get it in the paint on the post feeds.”

Catholic (18-10) will face St. James for the area tournament championship on Friday at 5:30 p.m., but Wednesday’s win assured the Knights of a return to the state playoffs. The winner of the St. James-Catholic game will face the loser of the Monroe County-Escambia County game at home in a sub-regional game on Monday at 7 p.m., while the Catholic-St. James loser will travel to play the winner.

For Trinity, the disappointing loss meant the end of the 2017-18 season for the Wildcats, but Smith was pleased with his team’s improvement this season.

“We had the seniors on the floor at the end and Maddie Johnston stole a pass with four seconds left,” he said. “That’s a senior, down by 22 or whatever, competing until the end. We don’t know how the story is going to unfold. It’s our job to work hard and love well. Handle however that story ends. Obviously, we believe God is writing that story. He placed us in a position tonight that this is where we are. You handle it with love, with dignity, caring for each other and continuing to work hard until the end.

“What I hate (this season) is the ending. We’ve played a lot better the last month of the season. (Catholic) did some things differently, there’s no question, they played well. But I just hate it to end like that. As a program, we had some good younger players who liked to compete, so we’re excited about that.”

 

Updated at 5:46 am on February 8, 2018

Catholic defeated Trinity

The Knights whipped the Wildcats in the area tournament played Wednesday  night at Saint James 44-22. Catholic was led by Jessie Clark with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Aleigha Walden had 13 points and 5 steals. Trinity was led by Madison McElvey with 6 points.

Updated at 10:43 am on February 7, 2018

MA whips PCA, will play for area championship

By ART PARKER

MA advanced to the area championship game with a 44-19 victory over PCA played at Montevallo High School. MA played without senior center Caroline Kirkham and Head Coach Barry Fencher both at home with the flu. JV coach Erica Henderson stepped in while Fencher was absent. Gabby Rameriz broke her scoring slump by leading the Eagles with 14 and Margaret Head followed with 13 points. Kaitlyn Reyes scored 9 points and Mary Grace Story added 8 points as PCA ends the season with a record of 20-7. Montgomery Academy, now 22-3, will defend its area title against rival Montevallo in the championship game. One of the Eagles defeats this season came at the hands of Montevallo.

 

Autauga Girls win state

 

 

By TIM GAYLE

Autauga Academy’s fourth-quarter stat sheet was an offensive nightmare: 0 for 5 shooting from the field, 0 for 5 shooting from the free-throw line, three turnovers.

Emily Smith’s jumper with 30 seconds left had given Wilcox Academy a one-point lead and now Anna Leigh McGraw was at the line for a one-and-one, hoping to add to the lead with 7.3 seconds left.

“I was trying to keep as much faith in myself and my team as I could,” Autauga junior guard Tay Washington said. “I was scared a lot, so I held back a lot.”

McGraw missed the free throw and the Lady Generals raced the length of the court, getting Washington the ball for a six-foot baseline jumper to beat the buzzer and give Autauga a 28-27 victory and their first state title in the Alabama Independent School Association Class AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Thursday afternoon.

“I was out of timeouts but we have our fastbreaks we run, so I told them we have to get it and go,” Autauga coach Greg Parker said. “I knew they were going to double Katie (White) because she made the play on Friday and she saw Tay. Tay’s a playmaker. She does it every day in practice. I’m in awe of some of the things she does.”

It wasn’t her best performance on Monday. She made back-to-back baskets midway through the third quarter to put her team in front by four, but those were her only field goals in seven attempts before the final shot. In addition, she had four turnovers and missed all four attempts at the free-throw line, including one-and-ones in the final minute. Yet, with the game on the line, her drive down the baseline and floater for the win wiped out all of the earlier misses.

“It just happened that I had it,” she said. “He just told us to get it and go and I just got the ball and got it and went. It feels amazing (to win a state championship). It’s a blessing.”

Amazing because Autauga (20-4) won a state title with little tradition in girls’ basketball and no outstanding stars. Both wins in the Final Four came on last-second shots for their only made field goal in the fourth quarter.

“Tay did it today, Katie White did it Friday,” Parker said. “They just want to win. I don’t have enough to say about them. Tay stepped up today, Katie stepped up Friday, Kasey Hafley stepped up in the Elite Eight game.”

Hafley led Autauga with 14 points, while Ashley May had 11 for Wilcox, followed by Smith with 10.

 

Updated at 6:22 pm on February 4, 2018

AISA Saturday

By TIM GAYLE

Patrician Academy 54, Southern Academy 39

Mae Ethridge led a balanced attack with 19 points to lead a strong second-half surge that gave Patrician Academy the AISA Class A state girls basketball championship with a 54-39 win over Southern in the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Ethridge was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Kennedy Lewis added 13 points and Abby McPhearson had 12 as the Lady Saints trailed by five points at the end of the first quarter and one point at halftime before scoring 31 points in the final 16 minutes to take home the title.

Augusta Arnold scored 22 points for Southern, giving her 74 points in three state tournament games. Amelia Harrison added 11.

Tuscaloosa Academy 42, Fort Dale Academy 28

Kelsey Curry found a little time to play offense as well.

Given the unenviable task of guarding 6-foot-4 center Lucy Bates on defense, Curry’s shooting touch was just as valuable as Tuscaloosa Academy’s leading scorer helped the Knights advance to the Alabama Independent School Association Class AAA finals with a 42-28 win over Fort Dale Academy in the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Saturday morning.

Tuscaloosa Academy (23-2) will face Glenwood School (23-6) for the AAA state title on Monday at 5 p.m. The Gators are the only team from Alabama to defeat TA this season, handing the Knights a 50-27 loss a week earlier on the same floor in the region tournament championship.

“We’re so excited,” Curry said. “We got beat in this game last year and I think that’s kind of been in our heads for the last year. We just wanted to get back there. We know that we’re capable of it. We have something special.”

Curry went 6 of 13 from the floor to finish with 20 points, two rebounds, three steals, three assists and three blocked shots, but two factors lifted TA to victory: a decisive (20-10) edge in creating turnovers and the 5-foot-10 Curry’s defense on Bates, who had nine rebounds and three blocked shots but was just 2 of 8 from the field.

“Kelsey had a tough task guarding her,” TA coach John David Smelser said. “We wanted to push her up the lane a little bit and make her take tough shots and I thought for the most part Kelsey was able to do that. She did an outstanding job guarding her. She’s four inches shorter, five inches shorter. It takes a lot of grit and effort to guard somebody like that and I thought Kelsey played exceptional.”

Curry, meanwhile, was quick to point out the team effort on defense.

“I’m just really proud of the way we played,” she said. “We played really hard. I think Coach said it was one of our best games defensively all year and that’s what it was going to take. Everyone was always coming backside to help if they were going to lob it over me, so it wasn’t just me.”

Anna Blake Langford had 11 points for Fort Dale (17-7), which trimmed an 11-2 deficit to four points early in the second quarter but had trouble handling the ball at times against the TA defense, having five or more turnovers in three of the four quarters.

Glenwood School 42, Lee-Scott Academy 35

Morgan Grant had 20 points and Quan Holton added 11 as the Lady Gators raced out to an early lead and maintained it throughout for a 42-35 victory over area rival Lee-Scott on Saturday afternoon at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl.

Glenwood (23-6) will face Tuscaloosa Academy (23-2) for the second time in nine days after knocking off the Knights in the region tournament championship game. This time, the stakes are higher as the two will meet for the AAA state championship on Monday at 5 p.m.

Kenedi Cleveland led Lee-Scott with 12 points.

Updated at 11:36 pm on February 2, 2018

MA girls rally late to beat Wildcats

 By ART PARKER
Montgomery Academy overcame a sluggish start and poor offensive play in the first half to eventually slip past Trinity 26-24 Friday night. Both teams played good defensively in the first three quarters that ended with Trinity holding a 19-16

MA’s Millie Stevenson looks for an open teammate against Trinity. (Photo: Art Parker)

lead. The Eagles refused to quit and eventually took the lead when Margaret Head gathered in a rebound and hit a layup with less than five minutes remaining. MA coach Barry Fencher said it was good to see his team come back after such a sluggish opening. “We been trying to teach patience and sometimes we passed up some good shots. But when we needed to come alive the girls came around and closed the game out well.” Fencher said.

Leighton Robertson led MA with 8 points and Caroline Kirkham added 6 points with 7 rebounds. Head contributed 5 points to go with her 10 rebounds, and Millie Stevenson had 4 points. MA now stands at 21-3 heading into the area tournament.

Trinity was led by Madison McKelvey and Mackenzie Avant with 8 points each. Kenslee Harrison and Madison Johnston had 4 points each. Trinity heads into the area tournament with a 7-10 record.

Catholic 54, ACA 33

Catholic defeated ACA 54-33 at Alabama Christian Friday night. Catholic was led by Aleigha Walden with 26 points and 6 assists. Jessie Clark had 15 points and 15 rebounds while Nona Johnson had 8 points and 12 rebounds. ACA was led by Josie Barlow with 15 points.

Prattville Christian 55, Wetumpka 18

Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals as PCA improved to 19-6 on the season.  Mary Grace Story added 10 points and 5 assists and Tori DeMaio had 6 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 steals.

AISA (Friday)

By TIM GAYLE

Autauga Academy 34, Pickens Academy 33

There’s more to Pickens Academy than just Olivia Lewis and the Autauga Academy Lady Generals almost found out the hard way. The end justifies the means, however, and the end result was a 34-33 victory over the Pirates in the AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Friday afternoon.

Autauga’s Katie White dashes on a fast break against Pickens Academy (Photo: Tim Gayle)

“I knew if we stopped No. 11 (Lewis), we had a good shot,” Autauga coach Greg Parker said, “because I knew we had guards that could play. We worked on that yesterday (in practice) for about an hour and a half. We knew if we stopped 11, we had a really good shot to win.”

Lewis managed just four points, held to a pair of first-half field goals. “We just knew she was their best player,” said Autauga senior Faith Petrunic, “and we had to make sure she couldn’t get the ball inside.”

Kasey Hafley hit a pair of 3-pointers to stake Autauga to a 6-0 lead as neither team scored in the first five minutes. Pickens scored both of its first-quarter goals in the final 31 seconds, with a 3-pointer by Carolina Lewis and a fastbreak layup by Olivia Lewis trimming the deficit to 6-5 entering the second quarter.

Baskets by Petrunic and Bayley Smith extended Autauga’s lead to five points at the half and the game remained that way for much of the second half. But the Generals were held without a field goal during that fourth-quarter stretch and the scoreless drought along with poor (8 of 23) free-throw shooting allowed Pickens to tie the game with 30 seconds left with a basket by Audrey Fondren, who finished with a game-high 10 points, and take the lead on a pair of free throws with 7.7 seconds left by Allison Latham, who scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter.

“I think we panicked a little bit because we thought they would come out in some zone (defense) and they came out in man,” Parker said. “I think ‘in-your-face’ man kind of flustered us a little bit.”

Autauga’s only fourth-quarter basket came at the buzzer as Hafley grabbed a miss on the drive by Katie White and put it back to force overtime.

“I think we just stressed ourselves out a little and got in our own heads,” Petrunic said.

White had a free throw 26 seconds into the overtime period and Petrunic added two more with 19 seconds left to put the Generals in the state finals. Pickens (14-6) had four turnovers and four missed shots in overtime before Fondren put back a miss just ahead of the buzzer.

Autauga (19-4) will face Wilcox on Monday at noon for the AA state championship.

“These girls have been together for a long time, I’m just driving,” said Parker, the boys’ basketball coach who took on additional duties this season. “This team is relentless, they’re unselfish. They’re the best team I’ve ever coached.”

Wilcox Academy 40, South Choctaw Academy 39

Laken Harvell scored 13 points and Ashley May added a huge 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help Wilcox Academy advance to the Class AA finals with a 40-39 win over previously unbeaten South Choctaw Academy in the AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Friday morning.

Wilcox will play Autauga for the AA state championship on Monday at noon. The two teams had met each other twice during the regular season and were tied 23-23 at the half. South Choctaw surged ahead by one point entering the final period, but May – who had a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter – hit a huge perimeter shot to put her team ahead by four in the final moments of the game.

Karley McDaniel had 14 points to lead South Choctaw and Emily Phillips hit a trio of 3-pointers in the first half to finish with nine.

Patrician Academy 68, Abbeville Christian 54

Patrician Academy had a simple goal entering Friday’s semifinal matchup with Abbeville Christian: stop Joiner Hughes.

Abbeville Christian’s leading scorer, who went over the 2,000-point mark a week ago in the regionals, struggled to shake Patrician’s Kennedy Lewis – who was assigned the difficult task of holding her in check – during the early moments of the game but eventually wiggled free to finish with 22 points but by then the Saints had built an 11-point halftime lead that was too much to overcome.

Paisley Sorrells led Patrician with 21 points, followed by Mae Ethridge with 20 and Abby McPhearson with 14. The Saints will play Southern for the Class A state championship on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Southern Academy 57, Sparta Academy 54

Augusta Arnold scored 18 of her 36 points in the fourth quarter to help provide one of the most exciting fourth quarters of the AISA state tournament as Southern edged Sparta 57-54 on Friday night at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl.

Southern will face Patrician for the Class A state title on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Sparta held a 33-32 edge heading into the final period before the two teams staged an eight-minute shootout, featuring a four-point play from Arnold to open the quarter, followed by another 3-pointer and 10 of 13 shooting at the free-throw line.

Magan Chapman added 11 for Southern. Maggie Brock had 24 points for Sparta, followed by Roxie Weaver with 11.

 

Updated at 9:48 am on February 2, 2018

AISA (Thursday)

By TIM GAYLE

Tuscaloosa Academy 49, Lakeside School 30

It was time for the most experienced player to take charge. Even if she’s only an eighth grader.

Tuscaloosa Academy had rolled out to a big lead at halftime in their AISA Class AAA state tournament opener but a lackluster second half allowed Lakeside to creep back into the game. And with their leading scorer sitting on the bench, someone needed to take charge.

“Somebody’s always got to step up,” point guard Chloe Johnson said. “That’s a big part of every team, somebody’s got to stand up and be a leader. I just think that’s a big part of how we got out there and kept scoring.”

It was Johnson, the most valuable player of the tournament as a 12-year-old sixth grader two years ago, who took charge late in the third quarter with an assist on one basket, followed by a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions to restore order and lead the Knights into the semifinals with a 49-30 win over Lakeside School at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Thursday night.

Tuscaloosa (22-2) will face Fort Dale on Saturday at 10 a.m., with the winner advancing to the AAA state championship game on Monday at 5 p.m.

For Tuscaloosa, the win restored a little normalcy after losing their first game of 2018 in the region final on Saturday, a stunning 50-27 rout by Glenwood on the same floor.

“We were ranked No. 1 going into last week,” TA coach John David Smelser said. “I don’t think my girls understood not only how tough it is to get to that spot but then to defend that spot. After that loss, I challenged them tonight that the last time you played, you were No. 1 and you didn’t play very well. Now you can make a statement.”

The statement was made early as the Knights built a 16-5 lead five minutes into the contest. That’s when the team’s leading scorer, Kelsey Curry, got tangled up and went to the floor hard, banging her head. She spent virtually all of the remainder of the game sitting on the bench after scoring five points in five minutes.

“Kelsey’s one of our best players and when she goes down, it’s like a piece of the puzzle is broken off, we’re losing that piece,” Johnson said. “When she goes out, we’ve got to be able to pick up the momentum and pick up the intensity and keep playing our best.”

Curry could have returned if needed, Smelser said, but clearly the Knights were not the same team without their popular wing player.

“Emotionally, I could really tell a difference in my team,” Smelser said. “Even though we were winning by 20 at times, the look on their faces was like we were getting beat. We did a poor job of staying intense, focusing on her being out and continuing to play our game.”

But the Knights extended their lead to 20 points, 31-11, at the half, largely because Lakeside went nearly 11 minutes between a pair of field goals by Sydney Williams, who scored 18 of the Chiefs’ 30 points.

In the second half, it was Tuscaloosa who went nearly six minutes without a basket as Lakeside chipped into the lead. That’s when Johnson assisted on a basket by Grace Pelphrey, who finished with 12 points, and scored five of her 20 points on the next two possessions to help the Knights coast into the semifinals.

“There was a point in the game where I looked at her and said you’ve got to go score and she did,” Smelser said. “She was aggressive, she got to the rim, she knocked down some shots. I think if she can continue to be aggressive and be a scorer like that, when we get back to full strength we’ll be tough to beat.”

Fort Dale Academy 53, Edgewood Academy 44

Fort Dale jumped out to an early lead, weathered a brief rally by the Wildcats, then cruised into the AAA semifinals with a 54-44 win over Edgewood in the AAA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Thursday afternoon.

Junior shooting guard Anna Blake Langford had six points in the first quarter, then eight more in the second as Fort Dale jumped out to an 11-2 lead, watched Edgewood trim it to six midway through the second quarter, then extend it back to 10 points at the half. While Edgewood managed to keep the game competitive with several 3-point shots, the Eagles were able to maintain that margin for the remainder of the game.

Fort Dale will face Tuscaloosa on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the semifinals, with the winner advancing to the AAA state championship game on Monday at 5 p.m.

Langford finished with 25 points, followed by Bailey Coker with 14. C.J. Weldon had 15 points to lead Edgewood, followed by Kelley Green with 11.

Lee-Scott Academy 61, Northside Methodist 31

Mary Prewett and Sara Young buried Northside Methodist in a flurry of 3-pointers as the Warriors cruised to a 30-point victory over Northside Methodist in the AAA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Thursday afternoon.

Young had 14 points and Prewett added 12 as Lee-Scott advanced to the semifinals against area rival Glenwood on Saturday at 1 p.m. The winner will play for the AAA state title on Monday at 5 p.m.

Megan Andrews had nine points to lead Northside Methodist, which trailed by 21 points at the half.

Glenwood School 45, Monroe Academy 32

Quan Holton scored 19 points and J.J. Woods added 10 as the Lady Gators jumped out to an early lead and defeated Monroe Academy 45-32 in the AAA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Thursday morning.

Glenwood will face area rival Lee-Scott on Saturday at 1 p.m., with the winner advancing to the AAA state championship game on Monday at 5 p.m. Ruth Dees led Monroe with nine points.

Updated at 8:44 am February 1, 2018

AISA Semi Final

By TIM GAYLE

Autauga Academy 46, Russell Christian 29

The Autauga girls had some success from their pressure defense in the second half, turning a one-point halftime lead into a comfortable margin on the way to a 46-29 win over Russell Christian in the AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Wednesday morning.

The Lady Generals (18-4) got 13 points from Katie White and 12 from Kasey Hafley but clearly displayed little energy in the first half.

“We struggled early but you could see at halftime in their faces that they knew that now that the jitters were out, we’re going to start playing and you saw we played a lot better in the second half defensively,” Autauga coach Brad Parker said. “They just weren’t moving. I think it’s because they were probably still asleep. But when we move, we’re very difficult to get the ball inside against. When we get running and moving, I think it’s tough for people.”

Madison Adams scored 15 of her team’s 29 points.

Autauga will face Pickens on Friday at noon, with the winner advancing to the state championship game on Monday at noon.

Pickens Academy 62, Macon East Academy 27

Pickens Academy surged unexpectedly to a 15-point halftime lead, then cruised past a lifeless Macon East squad 62-27 in the Class AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Tuesday afternoon.

The Knights trailed by five points at the end of the first quarter, but never got untracked as the team’s leading scorer, Madisyn Kennedy, managed just seven points and one field goal in the contest.

“It looked like we were trying to get it over with,” Macon East coach Glynn Lott said. “That’s what I told (the players after the game), ‘you wanted it to be over with, it’s over with.’ We scrimmaged the JV boys (on Tuesday) and we were a lot better than that, so I don’t know. We got out of our game early and they took Madi away and her body language told you that she was done. She scored two points from the floor and we can’t win if she scores two points from the floor.”

The Pirates were forced to substitute some in the second quarter because of foul trouble, yet pulled away to a 32-17 halftime lead.

“We quit running,” Lott said. “When we run, we’re decent; when we don’t, we’re not. We got them in foul trouble and instead of making a run with their starters on the bench, we played even with them at best. That was the game plan, take the ball to the goal, and we did in the first quarter. When we got them in foul trouble, for some reason we stopped taking it to the goal.”

Olivia Lewis led Pickens with 17 points, followed by Caroline Lewis and Audrey Fondren with 10 points each.

The Knights played long stretches in the second half with freshman Emily Nickles and eighth grader Maddie Ross. Sophomore Emi Lott led the team in scoring with 10 points.

“Maddie Ross has been playing well lately and hit a couple of (3-point) shots for us,” Lott said, “but you give up some defense to play her on offense. And Emily Nickles, you get a little height when you put her in the game but she’s not as fast. You’re just trying to make three or four players into one or two there, trying to get them experience. I think being here for the first time, for some of them, was an intimidating factor.”

Macon East finished the season at 8-14, struggling with an inexperienced team that returned just Kennedy as a starter against one of Class AA’s most challenging schedules.

“We had one senior (Bailey Dees) and she had never played before,” Lott said. “And we lost four starters off of last year’s team. With just Madi coming back, I guess we did better than expected, especially with our region and the schedule we played. You hope those games make you better, but I don’t know if they did this year or not.”

South Choctaw Academy 66, Emmanuel Christian 10
Faith Copeland scored 24 points and Emily Phillips added 19 as unbeaten South Choctaw built a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and cruised to an easy victory in the AA state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Wednesday afternoon.

South Choctaw will face Wilcox in the semifinals on Friday at 9 a.m., with the winner advancing to Monday’s state championship game at noon.

Carley Cook had six points to lead Emmanuel Christian, which was held to just one field goal in each of the second and third quarters and trailed 60-6 entering the fourth quarter.

Wilcox Academy 39, Lowndes Academy 31
Laken Harvell scored 15 points and Emily Smith added 14 as Wilcox Academy rallied past Lowndes in the AA state tournament on Wednesday.

Wilcox will face South Choctaw on Friday at 9 a.m., with the winner advancing to the state championship game on Monday at noon.

Laiken Hussey had 15 points and Hannah Till added 10 for Lowndes, which led early before trailing 10-7 at the half.

 

Updated at 8:35 am January 31, 2018

AISA Elite Eight

Patrician Academy 45, Evangel Christian 26

Patrician took advantage of a cold-shooting Evangel Christian team to pull away in the second quarter and cruise to a 45-26 win over the Lady Lions in the AISA Class A state tournament at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Tuesday afternoon. Patrician Academy will face Abbeville Christian on Friday at 3 p.m., with the winner advancing to the championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Corryne Blanks (purple jersey) led Evangel with 13 points in the Elite Eight loss to Patrician Academy. (Photo: Tim Gayle)

An early 3-pointer from Karley Blankenship and another in the final seconds by Corryne Blanks helped Evangel tie the game at 6-6 heading into the second quarter, but Evangel would hit on just three field goals over the next 16 minutes – one by Blanks in the second quarter and one each from Chloe Perry and Ellejae Reynolds in the third period.

Still, Perry’s 3-pointer pulled the Lady Lions within six points midway through the third period but Evangel’s ice-cold shooting at the free-throw line (the Lions were 10 of 26) sealed their fate.

Abby McPhearson led Patrician with 15 points, followed by Mae Ethridge with 14, while Blanks led Evangel with 13.

Abbeville Christian 50, Jackson Academy 17

Joiner Hughes scored all of the points her team would need as the Lady Generals ramped up the defense in a 50-17 rout of Jackson Academy in the Class A state tournament. Abbeville Christian will face Patrician Academy on Friday at 3 p.m., with the winner advancing to the championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m. Hughes, who went over the 2,000-point career mark on Friday, added to her total with a 23-point effort on Tuesday. That was more than enough to take care of the Lady Eagles, who scored just two points in the third quarter and four in the fourth. Macie Eckstein and Paige Alford each had six points to lead Jackson.

Southern Academy 36, Chambers Academy 34

Augusta Arnold scored 16 points to lead Southern Academy past Chambers in a hard-fought contest at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl on Tuesday afternoon. Southern will face Sparta in the Class A semifinals on Friday at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m. Shelly Keebler led Chambers with 14 points.

Sparta Academy 61, Marengo Academy 29

Sparta Academy held Marengo to just one field goal in the first half, cruising into the AISA Class A Final Four with an easy victory over the Longhorns on Monday morning at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl. Sparta will face Southern on Friday at 6 p.m., with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game at 5 p.m. Sparta led 25-5 at the end of the first quarter and 44-9 at the half. Maggie Brock led the Lady Warriors with 17 points, followed by Amber Kirksey with 14. Mary Grace Sheffield had 15 points to lead Marengo.

Montgomery Academy 54, LAMP 10

MA stomped Lamp 54-10 with Gabby Ramirez pouring in 22 points. Margaret Head added 8 points and 7 rebounds. MA improved to 20-5.

Catholic 46, Saint James 43

Catholic defeated Saint James at STJ 46-43. Catholic was led by Jessie Clark with 21 points including going 8 for 8 from the line, and 10 rebounds. Aleigha Walden had 14 points and Nona Johnson had 5 points and 12 rebounds. For Saint James Micala Fisanick led Saint James with 21 points.

Prattville Christian 46, Montevallo 45

Rachel Stephenson hit the game winning three pointer with 6 seconds left in the game as PCA upset Montevallo.  Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 23 points and Tori DeMaio added 8 points and 22 rebounds.  PCA improves to 18-6 on the season.

Trinity 55, BTW 38

Trinity whipped BTW 55-38 and was led by Mackenzie Avant with 15 points.  Madison Mckelvey had 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Madison Johnston had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Emma Kate Smith had 10 points and 6 assists.

Updated at 10:19 pm on January 23, 2018

Bombs fly as ‘Cats whip Catholic

By TIM GAYLE

The Lady Wildcats got three 3-pointers in the first half from Madison McKelvey, which might have been expected, but also had three from Kenslee Harrison, which was not, to help Trinity to a 10-point lead at the half on the way to a 50-33 victory over Catholic in the Catholic gym on Tuesday night.

“Kenslee Harrison stepped up and made some big shots tonight,” Trinity coach Blake Smith said. “We’ve been trying to get her to be a little more aggressive and she was tonight so that helped.”

The loss was the first for Catholic (12-6) in area play and all but guaranteed Trinity (6-9) one of the top three seeds for the upcoming area tournament. Trinity improved to 3-2 in area play but split with the Knights and has one game remaining against unbeaten area rival St. James on Friday.

“We were up double figures on (Catholic) the first two games and they came roaring back,” said Smith, referring to a game in the Capital City Conference tournament as well as the first area meeting. “Tonight, they got in foul trouble so we had that lead and they were in foul trouble, which made it very difficult for them to cut into the lead.”

Catholic’s Claire Mills looks for an open teammate while being closely watched by Emma Kate Smith of Trinity (Photo: Tim Gayle)

McKelvey and Madison Johnston each had 14 points to lead Trinity.

The defeat was a huge blow for the Knights, which dropped to 5-1 with area games remaining against St. James on Wednesday and next Tuesday.

“They shot lights out,” Catholic coach Jill Clark said. “I thought they shot the ball very well. We just couldn’t get it going tonight. ‘Senior Night,’ you’d think they would be a little more intense, but (Trinity) really wanted it and came after us. We didn’t step up and did what we needed to do.”

Nona Johnson led Catholic with nine points, followed by Jessie Clark and Aleigha Walden with eight points each.

Updated at 10:16 pm on January 23, 2018

MA denied chance to win area

MA’s Gabby Ramirez could not shake free frequently enough against Montevallo. (Photo: Art Parker)

By ART PARKER

The second game of the season between

Montgomery Academy and Montevallo would be the game to determine who would host the area tournament, and hence, hold a post season advantage. There were several

scenarios in plays based upon the outcome of the game and the outcome of

MA’s Millie Stevenson dribbles in traffic in the first half against the Bulldogs. (Photo: Art Parker)

Montevallo’s game Saturday.

Now, none of that means anything because the issue was decided as Montevallo smacked MA 40-28. And the Bulldogs never saw the lead until the middle of the fourth quarter.

The Eagles held a 3-point advantage after the first, second and third quarters. When the fourth quarter began Montevallo tied the game with a 3-point shot at 21-21. It wasn’t long before the Bulldogs went on a 14 point run with no answer from MA during that time. While Montevallo was pouring in the points they were pressing MA and causing havoc.

MA’s Margaret Head led the team with 10 points. (Photo: Art Parker)

MA’s long range shooter Gabby Ramirez fell cold in the second half and the big inside player, Caroline Kirkham, was held to a pair of points all night long after rarely seeing the ball.

Margaret Head had a solid game with plenty of rebounds and led the Eagles with 10 points. Ramirez had 7 points.

 

Updated at 10:02 pm January 23, 2018

ACA beat Elmore County 61-60. Josie Barlow was our leading scorer with 27 points. Lindsey Glass added 9 points and 6 rebounds. Carli Schofield had 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 blocks. Anna Katherine Palmer collected 5 points and 8 rebounds. Zoe Stiff had 4 points and 5 rebounds and Mary Hall helped the Eagles to control the boards with 11 rebounds.

Prattville Christian whipped Southside Selma 45-25 as Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 6 steals, and 4 assists as PCA improved to 17-6 on the season.  Rachel Stephenson added 9 points and Tori DeMaio grabbed 11 rebounds.

Updated at 11:48 am on January 20, 2018

Leighton Robertson led MA with 14 points. (File photo)

MA defeated Trinity 34-25 Friday night. Leighton Robertson led the Eagles with 14 points and Caroline Kirkham had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Trinity was led in scoring by Madison McKelvey with 12 points. MA improves to 17-4.

Montevallo defeated Prattville Christian 35-29 with Kaitlyn Reyes leading the Panthers with 23 points. PCA fell to 16-6 on the season. Tori DeMaio had 11 rebounds and Rachel Stephenson added 10 rebounds.

Updated at 12:38 am on January 17, 2018

MA defeated ACA 52-22. Leighton Robertson had 16 points and Caroline Kirkham had 13 points and 9 rebounds. MA improves to 16-4.

MA’s Margaret Head tossed in a dozen points against Carver. (File Photo)

Carver defeated MA 49-46 in MLK Classic. Mya Barnes led Carver with 17 points. MA was led by Caroline Kirkham with 16 points followed by Margaret Head with 12 points.

Prattville Christian walloped Ellwood Christian 56-15 as Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 25 points, 10 steals, and 8 rebounds. PCA improved to 16-5 on the season.  Melanie Drey added 11 points and 7 steals. Mary Grace Story also scored 11 points.

 

Updated at 7:56 pm on January 13, 2018

Prattville Christian slipped past Catholic 32-31 in a Saturday afternoon thriller.  Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 17 points and 5 rebounds as PCA improves to 15-5 on the season.  Reyes hit a pair of

Catholic’s Nona Johnson looks for a teammate to pass to in the first half of the PCA game. (Photo: Art Parker)

free throws with 38 seconds remaining to give PCA the lead. Melanie Drey added 8 points and 6 rebounds. For Catholic Jessie Clark led the way with 12 points.

Montgomery Academy whipped Geneva County 61-33. Caroline Kirkham finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds, Gabby Ramirez had 19 points. The Eagles improved to 15-3.

Updated at 5:21 am on January 12, 2018

Montgomery Academy defeated Prattville Christian Academy 26-16 Friday night in area play. Millie Stevenson led the Eagles with 13 points, Leighton Robertson had 6 points and Caroline Kirkham collected 5 points. MA improved to 14-3. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Panthers with 11 points as PCA falls to 14-5 on the season.

Catholic defeated LAMP in an area basketball game 69-47.

Jessie Clark poured in 31 points to lead Catholic over LAMP (File Photo)

Catholic was led by Jessie Clark with 31 points and 13 rebounds. She was 14 of 16 from the line. Aleigha Walden added 20 points, 9 assist and 8 steals. The Knights are now 12-4 and 5-0 in area play.

 

Updated at 12:15 pm on January 10, 2018

The Ezekiel Academy Varsity Girls team defeated Hope Christian Academy 81-33 in conference play Tuesday night

at Samford University in

Necie Townes led Ezekiel with 24 points against Hope Christian. (Special to The Indy)

Birmingham. The Lady Knights had 4 players in double figures and remain undefeated on the season. Necie Townes led all scorers with 24 points while shooting 55% from the field.  Townes also had 11 steals for the Knights. Danaisha Wester chipped in 18 points and had 7 rebounds. Nizhoni Thompson also added 15 points, 6 steals, and 4 blocks. Sadie Graham poured in 10 points. Point Guard Becca Ballard had 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Ezekiel is a home school team.

Trinity defeated Tallassee Tuesday night 48-33. Trinty was led in scoring by

Trinity’s Madison McKelvey led the Wildcats with 21 points against Tallassee. (Photo: Art Parker)

Madison McKelvey with 21 points.  Emma Kate Smith followed with 10 points.  Madison Johnston grabbed 10 rebounds.

East Memorial Christian Academy (EMCA) girls defeated Evangel Christian Academy (ECA) 58-52 in overtime last Tuesday night. Sheria Clements led EMCA with 36 points. Corryne Blanks led ECA with 22 points.

Catholic defeated Wetumpka 46-31. Catholic was led by Jessie Clark with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Aleigha Walden had 15 points and Nona Johnson added 11 points. The Knights are now 11-4.

Prattville Christian whipped Southside Selma 50-18 Tuesday night. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 25 points and 10 rebounds and PCA improves to 14-4 on the season.  Mary Grace Story added 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals.

 

Updated at 6:21 pm on January 6, 2018

MA’s Gabby Ramirez puts up another shot to expand the Eagles lead against Catholic. (Photo: Art Parker)

Montgomery Academy got revenge for its lost to Catholic in the CCC Tournament. The Eagles whipped the Knights 58-22 at Bear Field House Saturday afternoon. Gabby Rameriz continued her hot shooting and led MA with 18 points. Leighton Roberson had a big day for MA with

MA’s Kennedi Jackson (14) is fouled while trying to garner another two points for the Eagles. (Photo: Art Parker)

17 points. Aleigha Walden led Catholic with 10 points and Jessie Clark collected 9 points.

Complete report in the January 11, 2017 printed edition of the Montgomery Independent

 

 

Updated at 8:49 am on January 6, 2017

Catholic defeated Trinity 53-49 last Friday night with a come from behind victory. Trinity scored the first 15 points of the game. The Knights cut the lead to a handul by halftime. Trinity led by 3 points entering into the fourth quarter. Catholic knocked down 4 out of 5 free throws late in the fourth quarter to escape with a win. Catholic was led by Jessie Clark with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Aleigha Walden had 18 points and 7 assists. Trinity was led by Emma Kate Smith with 15 points and Madison Johnston had 14 and collected 13 rebounds. Catholic is now 9-3 overall and 4-0 in the area before a big rematch with Montgomery Academy.

Prattville Christian whipped Autaugaville 58-22 last Friday night. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 25 points, 6 steals, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds as PCA improved to 13-4 on the season. Rachel Stephenson and Kayla Porter each scored 8 points and Stephenson also added 8 rebounds.  Mary Grace Story finished with 7 points, 7 assists, and 6 steals.

Montgomery Academy defeated Southside-Selma 55-41 to improve to 11-2 (2-0) in the area. Gabby Ramirez led the Eagles with 18 points while Caroline Kirkham had 14 points.

Macon East lost to Glenwood 63-33 last week. Madisyn Kennedy led the Knights with 20 points.

MA defeated ACA 52-22. Leighton Robertson led the Eagles with 15 points and 12 steals. Gabby Ramirez tallied 12 points, Caroline Kirkham had 11 points and Millie Stevenson collected 10 points. MA improved to 13-2 before a return match with Catholic.

Macon East lost to Hooper 59-55. Madisyn Kennedy had 27 points and 12 rebounds. Bailey Dees had 7 points and 17 rebounds. Dawn Johnson had 6 points and 6 rebounds

Updated December 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm

 Catholic holds off MA to win CCC

The Catholic Varsity girls basketball team – CCC Champs.
(Photo: Art Parker)

Despite being significantly out-rebounded and committing more turnovers, Catholic withheld a late surge by Montgomery Academy to win the Capital City Classic 63-56. The Knights are now 8-3. Catholic led by 16 points going into the fourth quarter but the Eagles pulled to within 3 points thanks to the 3-point shooting of Gabby Ramirez. The sharpshooting MA freshman led all scorers with 31 points.

But Catholic had a sharpshooter of their own in the talented Aleigha Walden, who scored 23 points but hit an amazing 16 of 20 from the charity stripe. Jessie Clark had her usual excellent game and scored 21 points.

Walden was named the Tournament MVP. “MA is a very good team and I am pleased to see our girls hold them off and not panic when they made that big run,” Catholic coach Jill Clark said.

Full report to be published in the January 4th printed edition of the Montgomery Independent.

Capital City Classic – Final Scores Final Round

Catholic def. MA 63-56 to win the Championship

Saint James def. Tallassee 45-31

Calhoun def. ACA 55-41

PCA def. Trinity 39-28

 

Updated at 6:37 pm on December 28, 2017

Capital City Classic

Final Scores Second Round

Catholic def. Trinity 44-31

Montgomery Academy def. 36-33

Saint James def. Calhoun 49-26

Tallassee def. ACA 40-30

Catholic will face Montgomery Academy in the Championship Game at 3:30 at Trinity.

Notes – Girls

MA 36, PCA 33

Caroline Kirkham led MA with 16 points and Gabby Ramirez added 11 points. Kaitlyn Reyes led PCA with 16 points.

Catholic 44, Trinity 31

Aleigha Walden had another big game for the Knights with 21 points. Jessie Clark had 16 points and 14 rebounds. Nina Johnson collected 5 points and 6 rebounds.

Updated at 9:11 on December 27, 2017

Capital City Classic

Final Scores Round One

Trinity def. Tallassee 56-38

Trinity’s Caroline Chapman sneaks inside, tales a pass and makes an easy lay up against Tallassee. (Photo: Art Parker)

Catholic def. ACA 51-23

Prattville Christian def. Calhoun 53-39

Montgomery Academy def. Saint James 38-33

Notes- Girls

Prattville Christian 53, Calhoun 39

Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 30

MA;s Gabby Ramirez tries to get past Saint James’ Seanna Brooks in the first half of Wednesday’s game. (Photo: Art Parker)

points, 8 steals, and 5 rebounds as PCA improves to 11-3 on the season.  Tori DeMaio added 8 points and 13 rebounds and Mary Grace Story had 8 points, 7 steals, and 5 rebounds.

MA 38, Trinity 33

Millie Stevenson led MA with 12 points Caroline Kirkham had 8 and Margaret Head 7 points.

 

 

Updated at 3:31 pm on December 22, 2017

Montgomery Academy pounded Jeff Davis in the Larry Chapman Tournament Friday afternoon, 45-17. Caroline Kirkham had 16 points and Gabby Ramirez 8 points. Margaret Head collected 7 points and 8 rebounds. MA improves 8-1.

Updated at 5:27 pm on December 20, 2017

Montgomery Academy defeated Greenville 58-53 in the Larry Chapman Classic Wednesday. Caroline Kirkham had 21 points, Margaret Head and Gabby Ramirez had 10 points each. Leighton Robertson finished with 9 points. Adriana Taylor led Greenville with 19 points.

Updated at 9:59am on December 20, 2017

Montgomery Academy thumped Prattville Christian last Monday night 50-20. The Eagles improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the area. Caroline Kirkham led MA with 15 points, Margaret Head added 12 points and 8 rebounds, Leighton Robertson had 8 points. Kaitlyn Reyes (pictured right) led the Lady Panthers with 20 points as PCA falls to 9-3 on the season and 0-1 in area play.

Prattville Christian pummeled Autaugaville 65-14 Tuesday night. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 steals as PCA improved to 10-3 on the season.  Mary Grace Story added 12 points, 9 steals, 7 assists.  Melanie Drey scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.  Tori DeMaio added 10 rebounds.

Updated at 4:51 pm on December 16. 2017

Montgomery Academy defeated Altamont to win the Scholars 4 Tournament. Tournament MVP Caroline Kirkham led MA with 15 points. Margaret Head 8 points and Gabby Ramirez 14 joined her on the All-Tournament Team. Leighton Robertson added 11. MA now stands at 5-1.

Updated at 11:22 am on December 16, 2017

Catholic whipped BTW Magnet 68-35 Friday night with a red hot Aleigha Walden  pouring in 21 points to lead the Knights. Jessie Clark had 15 points. Nona Johnson collected 8 points and Carrie Belsterling had 7 points. The Knights moved the ball around the floor very well with what coach Jill Clark described as excellent teamwork. “We passed the ball very well but still made too many mistakes with turnovers. Overall, we had a very good game,” Clark said. Catholic is now 5-1 for the season.

Montgomery Academy defeated John Carroll in the first round of Scholars 44-40. MA was led by Caroline Kirkham with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Margaret Head had 11 points and 7 rebounds while Gabby Ramirez had 13 points. MA will face Altamont for the tournament championship. MA improved to 4-1.

Prattville Christian defeated Prattville 63-44 in the Autauga County Tournament. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 32 points and 12 rebounds.  Tori DeMaio added 9 points and 14 rebounds and Rachel Stephenson had 8 points and 11 rebounds as PCA improves to 9-1 on the season. PCA will attempt to win back to back Tournament titles against Marbury.

 

Updated at 9:24 am on December 10, 2017

Montgomery Academy defeated Catholic 41-27. Caroline Kirkham had 9 points and 13 rebounds while Gabby Ramirez led the Eagles with 19 points. MA improved to 3-1 . Aleigha Walden led Catholic with 12 points.

Prattville Christian romped over Ellwood Christian 58-15 with Kaitlyn Reyes leading the Lady Panthers with 29 points and 6 steals. Mary Grace Story and Melanie Drey each added 10 points and 4 steals as PCA improved to 8-1 on the season.

Updated at 10:38 am on December 6, 2017

Macon East was defeated by Fort Dale 59-39 Monday night. Madi Kennedy had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Dawn Johnson had 8 points and 8 rebounds.

PCA easily defeated Wetumpka 45-28 Tuesday night with Kaitlyn Reyes leading the Lady Panthers with 27 points. Tori DeMaio added 11 rebounds as PCA improves to 7-1 on the season.

Montgomery Catholic defeated LAMP 49-30 in a game played at LAMP Tuesday night. The Knights were led by Nona Johnson with 14 points and Aleigha Walden with 11 points and 10 assists. Walden broke the school record for career assists. She now has 552 the old record was 542. The Knights are now 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in area play.

Montgomery Academy defeated Prattville 60-36 Tuesday night as Caroline Kirkham led the Eagles with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Freshman Leighton Robertson had 15 points and Gabby Ramirez 10.

Alabama Christian defeated Dadeville Tuesday night 54-37. ACA was led by Lindsey Glass with 16 points, 6 steals, and 4 assists. Josie Barlow had 13 points, and Zoe Stiff had 13 and 8 rebounds. Mary Hall added 9 rebounds.

Updated at 10:04 am on December 3, 2017

Montgomery Catholic got past Cornerstone of Birmingham  42-39 Saturday. Aleigha Walden led the Knights with 21 points and 5 assists. Nona Johnson had 9 points and 7 rebounds while Jessie Clark had 7 points and 13 rebounds. The Knights are now 3-1 on the year.

Brewbaker Tech defeated MA 74-42 on Saturday. MA was led by Caroline Kirkham with 17 points and Margaret Head had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. MA will hosts Prattville on Tuesday

Updated at 12:37 am on December 1, 2017

Prattville Christian defeated Trinity 32-28 Friday night. Mary Grace Story led the Lady Panthers with 10 points and Kaitlyn Reyes and Rachel Stephenson added 8 points each. PCA improved to 6-1 on the season.

Montgomery Catholic defeated ACA 60-40 in a game played at Catholic Friday night. Catholic had 4 players in double digits. Nona Johnson had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jessie Clark had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Aleigha Walden had 11 points and 10 assists. Daphne Hardy had 10 points and 8 rebounds. For ACA Josie Barlow had 15 points and Zoe Stiff had 9 points.

Updated at 9:47 pm  on November 30, 2017

Montgomery Academy got off to a big start with a 52-15

MA’s Gabby Ramirez (24) slings a bounce pass into the lane for a teammate in the second half against LAMP. (Photo: Art Parker)

victory over LAMP at MA. LAMP failed to score in the first period and trailed 32-5 at halftime. Caroline Kirkham led the Eagles with 16 points. Gabby Rameriez knocked down 11 points. Margaret Head, Grace Jackson and Kay Yelverton  had 6 points each. MA is 1-0 and will play at Brew Tech Saturday.

 

Updated at 6:55 am on November 29, 2017

Prattville Christian defeated Alabama Christian 50-26 on Tuesday at ACA. Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers with 20 points and also surpassed the 1,000 point mark in her varsity career only 6 games into her junior season.  Kelsie Junker added 13 points as PCA improves to 5-1 on the season.  PCA will travel to Trinity on Friday.

Updated at 5:21 am on November 22, 2017

Alabama Christian Academy (ACA) finished second in the Knights of Columbus Tournament after losing the

ACA’s Lindsey Glass keeps an eye on Marbury’s Artasia Cannon (Photo: Art Parker)

championship game to Marbury 47-34. ACA played well in the first half and gave the Bulldogs all they wanted, trailing only 19-17 at the half. But Marbury pulled away in the second half as ACA failed to stop an effective Bulldogs offensive effort. Artasia Cannon led Marbury with 19 points and India Robbins added 11 points.

Joslin Barlow led ACA with 10 pints, Zoe Stiff added 6 points and both Lindsey Glass and Anna Palmer had a handful of points each. “I thought we played hard against a good team and we did a lot of good things,” ACA coach Vittoria Poole said. “We worked well putting pressure on them and forced a lot of turnovers and that was a very positive sign. We did not rebound well and that probably made the difference. It will be something that will require attention.” ACA will visit Catholic on December 1st.

Catholic defeated Bullock County in the consolation event in the Knights of Columbus Tournament. Jessie Clark led the Knights with 18 points and a dozen boards. Aleigha Walden had 8 points and 11 assists while Nona Johnson added 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Knights are now 1-1 on the season and coach Jill Clark was

Jessie Clark led Catholic with 18 points and 12 rebounds. (Photo: Art Parker)

pleased with the effort of the team in their second game of the season. “We got some new players and we need to learn to play together and take care of the ball. We have had some early injuries and we are working through some things. The most important thing is that I saw a great deal of improvement over the first game of the season,” Clark said. The Knights will host ACA on December 1st.

Updated at 9:31 am on November 21, 2017

Marbury bested Montgomery Catholic in the first round of The Knights of Columbus Tournament be held at Catholic High School. The Bulldogs defeated the Knights 61-54. Aleigha Walden led Catholic with 23 points. Jessie Clark and Nona Johnson had 15 and 14 points respectively. Catholic is 0-1 and will play Bullock County Tuesday afternoon.

Prattville Christian (PCA) got past Westminster-Oak Mountain 53-43 and was led by    Kaitlyn Reyes with 30 points and 13 rebounds. Kelsie Junker added 14 points as PCA improved to 4-1 on the season.  PCA will play next at Alabama Christian on Tuesday, November 28th.

Updated at 12:45 pm  on December 15, 2017

Prattville Christian 68, Trinity Presbyterian 29

Kaitlyn Reyes led the Lady Panthers by pouring in 38 points.  Kelsie Junker added 12 points and Tori DeMaio had 8 points and 11 rebounds.  PCA improves to 3-1 on the season and will host Westminster-Oak Mountain on Friday.

Macon East 58, EMCA 58-55

Madisyn Kennedy had 32 points and 21 rebounds. Dawn Johnson had 10 points and 13 rebounds. Emily Nickles has 7 points and 11 rebounds. Emi Lott had 8 points and 3 rebounds.

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