E.A. Sports Today

Real McCoy plays for Ohatchee

Sophomore picks up slack for injured teammate, sparks Indians to win over PV

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Ohatchee girls basketball coach Bryant Ginn got a significant look at his program’s future Tuesday and he had to have liked what he saw.

With a key piece on the shelf likely through the end of the week, the Indians are looking for someone to pick up the slack. They found it for the second day in a row, this time in sophomore Ally McCoy, who delivered a career-high 13 points as the Indians put away Pleasant Valley 57-37.

What makes it an even more significant find is McCoy likely will be the piece that moves into the spot that’s currently missing on a permanent basis next year. Senior Morgan Lee, the outside half of the Indians’ dynamic duo with Joria Steger, has been out since Saturday with an ankle injury and is expected to be sidelined through the Indians’ first-round Calhoun County Tournament game with Donoho.

Truth be told, the Indians have been waiting for McCoy to blossom, but as important as Lee is to the team’s success, it was difficult for her to get any significant minutes. She got her chance Monday against Wellborn and earned passing marks if only limited scoring and Tuesday she flourished.

“The only thing that really ran through my mind is I need to step up my game,” McCoy said. “I’m not here to take anybody’s position. I’m just here to help. I need to do my part to help the team get to the win.

“I love the game – this game is my life – and I’m going to do my best to give Coach Ginn and my team and my school and everybody my best.”

McCoy, whose previous high game this season was seven points early in the year, had six points in the second quarter as the Indians rallied from an early deficit. She added five in the fourth quarter as they pulled away.

Her 13 was part of a balanced scoring effort. Steger and Madison Hanks also had 13 points and Makenzie Hanks, who stepped up Monday, had 12. Steger had 10 rebounds and Madison Hanks had eight.

“As long as we’re all playing together I think we’re doing great,” McCoy said.

Ohatchee recovered from an early deficit to take a seven-point halftime lead. The Raiders cut it back to 30-27 early in the third quarter when the Indians went on a 17-4 run to take total control of the game.

“They can shoot it now – Nos. 1 (Tiffany Williams), 3 (McKinley Parris), 5 (Atleigh Brannon) – so we talked about how we had to survive the wave,” Ginn said.

Just as Ohatchee was missing a key cog, so were the Raiders with Kara Perry on the mend. Brannon led Pleasant Valley with 15 points.

(Cover photo: Ohatchee’s Ally McCoy (13) looks to pass to Makenzie Hanks as two Pleasant Valley defenders close in.)

Ohatchee 57, Pleasant Valley 37

OHATCHEE – Kacie Cooper 0 0-0 0, Courtney Poole 0 0-0 0, Payton Steinberg 1 0-2 2, Ally McCoy 4 5-6 13, Makenzie Hanks 4 2-4 12, Madison Hanks 6 1-1 13, Joria Steger 6 1-3 13, Faith Walker 1 2-2 4, Cheyenne McCarter 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-18 57.

PLEASANT VALLEY – Tiffany Williams 2 1-2 5, McKinley Parris 2 0-0 4, Atleigh Brannon 7 0-3 15, Caitlin Strickland 0 1-3 1, Bailey Turner 1 3-4 5, Kaylee Lawler 0 0-0 0, Kendall Johnson 1 2-2 4, Emily Cochran 0 0-0 0, Hayley Taylor 0 0-0 0, McKayla Simpson 1 0-0 2, Baily Scott 0 0-0 0, Courtney Upton 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-14.

Ohatchee 7 15 20 15 — 57
Pleasant Valley 9 6 16 6 — 37

3-point goals: Ohatchee 2 (Mk. Hanks 2); Pleasant Valley 2 (Parris, Brannon). Total fouls: Ohatchee 13, Pleasant Valley 20. Fouled out: Turner. Officials: Miller, Hollingsworth, Preston.

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