E.A. Sports Today

That’s so Raven

Junior guard goes for 33 as Anniston advances to girls’ semifinals



By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Just about everything that could go right for Anniston did, just as everything went wrong for White Plains, and the Lady Bulldogs rolled into the Calhoun County Girls Tournament semi-finals with an impressive 69-29 victory.

Guard Raven Cooley had a relatively quiet first game of the tournament – 13 points against Saks — but was not going to be denied Thursday.

She scored a career-high 33 points, showing off a dazzling display of shots. She was shooting long 3s – she had four — driving the baseline, hitting pull-up jumpers and turning three steals into layups in leading a swarming Anniston press.

Cooley, whose previous career high was 22 points, scored 18 in the first half as the second-seeded Bulldogs (18-5) roared to a 37-14 lead. She had five more buckets in the third quarter as the lead went to 54-21. She had 12 baskets altogether, one more than White Plains had as a team.

“We basically did everything our coach said,” Cooley said. “As a 2-guard my role is to score and I was just trying to stay focused on that. It came natural. I always pray I’ll have a game like that … but I wasn’t rushing it. I was trying to stay humble and let my shot come.”

White Plains had no answer for her, especially with three starters in foul trouble almost immediately. Shelby Wood, leading scorer Amber Greenwood and center Carley Wood all picked up three fouls in the first half. Meanwhile, their shots were not dropping and Anniston, ranked seventh in Class 5A this week, was playing at a very high level.

Cooley and point guard Davia Palmer were all over the court disrupting the White Plains offense.

“Our defense really played well and our guards were very good tonight,” Anniston coach Eddie Bullock said. “When our defense is that good, we are all right.

”White Plains is a very good 3-point shooting team, so we knew we would really have to concentrate on defense more to stop them from outside.”

With leading scorer Greenwood strapped with foul trouble, the Lady Wildcats (10-12) had to find offense somewhere. Hannah Barno knocked down four 3s and ended up with 16 points

Kiyana Bullock added 11 and Palmer had nine points for the Lady Bulldogs, who now face upstart Pleasant Valley (14-11).

”We just have to keep playing good defense and if we can do that we will be OK,” Bullock said. “Pleasant Valley has a good team.”

White Plains' Amber Greenwood (20) tries to dribble past Anniston's Miajah Bullock. On the cover, Anniston coach Eddie Bullock shouts instructions to his team on the floor. (Photos by Chad Barnett)

White Plains’ Amber Greenwood (20) tries to dribble past Anniston’s Miajah Bullock. On the cover, Anniston coach Eddie Bullock shouts instructions to his team on the floor. (Photos by Chad Barnett)

Anniston 69, White Plains 29

WHITE PLAINS (10-12) — Carley Wood 2 0-0 4, Hannah Barno 6 0-0 16, Korie Burgess 0 0-0 0, Ann Katherine Dothard 0 0-3 0, Amber Greenwood 2 1-2 5, Shelby Wood 1 0-0 3, Landry Bussey 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 1-5 29.

ANNISTON (18-5) — Miajah Bullock 3 0-0 6, Raven Cooley 12 5-6 33, Carlina Welch 0 0-0 0, Davia Palmer 3 3-4 9, Takia Shears 1 0-0 2, Carsheuna Curry 1 1-3 3, Kiyana Bullock 3 5-6 11, J’Kyra Clemson 3 0-0 5. Totals 26 14-19 69.

White Plains 9 5 6 9 — 29
Anniston 15 22 17 15 — 69

3-point goals: White Plains 6 (Barno 4, Greenwood, Wood); Anniston 5 (Cooley 4, Clemons). Total fouls: White Plains 16, Anniston 14. Technical fouls: K. Bullock. Officials: Wood, Hunter, Morris

(All games at Pete Mathews Coliseum, Jacksonville)

First-round games
No. 8 Jacksonville Christian 47, No. 9 Weaver 43
No. 5 Oxford 64, No. 12 Faith Christian 40
No. 4 Piedmont 50, No. 13 Alexandria 32
No. 3 Ohatchee 61, No. 14 Donoho 20
No. 6 Pleasant Valley 62, No. 11 Sacred Heart 30
No. 10 White Plains 49, No. 7 Wellborn 18
No. 2 Anniston 60, No. 15 Saks 47

Second-round games
No. 1 Jacksonville 74, Jacksonville Christian 37
Oxford 42, Piedmont 33
Pleasant Valley 61, Ohatchee 55
Anniston 69, White Plains 29

Semifinal games
Jacksonville (18-3) vs. Oxford (11-9), Friday, 4 p.m.
Pleasant Valley (14-11) vs. Anniston (18-5), Friday, 7 p.m.

Championship game
Jacksonville-Oxford winner vs. Pleasant Valley-Anniston winner, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

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