E.A. Sports Today

Piedmont, PV survive upset bids

Call-ups keep Wellborn in it; Weaver gives PV fits

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – It’s playoff time, where every shot is challenged, every move contested and the tension is high as teams are playing each other for at least the third time and everybody knows every move you make. It is survival of the fittest and if you lose you go home.

That kind of tension was on hand Wednesday night in the Class 3A Area 12 playoffs. Area champion Piedmont held off fourth-seeded Wellborn 45-39 and Pleasant Valley held off third-seeded Weaver 46-35 in two hotly contested games.

Piedmont 45 Wellborn 39

There was upset in the air all night as Wellborn (3-19) took Piedmont (19-9) to the edge of defeat.

The Panthers brought along members of their undefeated county champion junior high team and they were more than equal to the challenge as they shocked the home Piedmont crowd with a brilliant performance.

Veterans Bre Brazier, Bre Green and Keisha Thompson nailed three consecutive 3’s late in the fourth quarter to hold off the Panthers.

Wellborn fought back and had the margin down to four with 1:36 to go, but missed five free throws in the last four minutes that really hurt.

“I always love coaching basketball and this is a good bunch of girls,” Wellborn coach Stephen Gay said. “I am very proud of them and the way they played tonight. Piedmont has a great team and we played right with them to the end.”

Eighth-grader Vanessa Carter and twin sister Katessa Carter gave the Piedmont guards fits with their speed as Piedmont had no answer for them in the first half. Vanessa scored 21 points in the game despite having to sit out in the second half in foul trouble. She buried three 3’s and two field goals for 13 first-half points as Wellborn led until the last 30 seconds of the half.

Their defense was even more impressive as they held Piedmont’s Green to just seven first-half points and created numerous turnovers. Eighth-grader Ayonna Foster kept the Bulldogs off balance as Panthers leading scorer Dymond Myles was in foul trouble all night and was relegated to the bench. Myles ended up with 10 points.

Green had 15 points, but missed 11 free throws in the game. Thompson added 11 and Flowers had 10 for the Bulldogs.

“I knew (Wellborn) was going to bring those kids up,” Piedmont coach Terrace Ridley said. “We actually saw Carter in an early season game. She did a great job out there on offense and defense and they held our offense down.

“Our patience on offense was the key and the difference in the game. We got in a hurry in the first half, but had more patience in the second half. All week long we were thinking that we have to win this one and getting this one out of the way takes off a little bit of stress.”

Pleasant Valley 46 Weaver 35

It’s always hard to beat a team three times and Weaver coach Gary Atchley had his improving Bearcats (7-19) ready for the Raiders (16-12). An early eight-point run put the Raiders up 18-9 in the first quarter and they spent the rest of the night trying to hang on.

“Weaver played their tails off; our hats go off to them,” PV coach Jeremy Wallace said. “They gave us all we wanted. Coach Atchley did a great job of game planning. They gave us all we wanted. He ran a little 3 out-2 in zone on us that gave us fits.”

Kara Perry claimed nine rebounds and had 12 points and provided the spark while Raider guards Tiffany Williams and Atleigh Brannon were trying to figure out the Bearcat zone.

Mariah Thompson and Keara Scott were banging the boards and keeping Weaver within six to eight points most of the night. Thompson had 14 points and Scott had nine points and 12 rebounds

“Our guards played exceptionally well down the stretch and my post players and their rebounding tonight was just great,” Wallace said. “In my opinion it was what kept us in the game.”

The pace was so furious that both teams ran out of gas and only scored six points combined in the final quarter.

“I feel like we were in a little better shape and able to finish,” Wallace said. “We were able to go to the bench and get some good help especially with some solid defense.”

Meanwhile, Atchley was encouraged by what he saw and looks forward to better days ahead.

”We have gotten better and better each game this year,” he said. “We have a bunch of eighth graders and I think we are going to be a pretty good team next year with all of these players back.”

Class 1A, Area 12

Ragland 45, Faith Christian 27

ONEONTA – Belle McKinney scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter as Ragland pulled away.

Faith Christian coach Bradley Dawson said his team left “too many points” on the floor in the first three quarters for its own good. The Lions trailed 18-17 at halftime and 26-21 after three quarters.

“I thought we should’ve been up 10 or 12 at half instead of down one, and we’d have played differently if we were up,” Dawson said. “We just didn’t do what you have to do to win the game.”

Ragland guarded Lions top scorer Madison Stephens tightly and held her to only 11 points. Cornelia Simpson also scored 11 for the Lions.

Ragland will play host Appalachian for the area championship. Appalachian defeated Sacred Heart, 49-27.


Piedmont 45, Wellborn 39

WELLBORN (3-19) — Dymond Myles 4 1-3 10, Vanessa Carter 8 0-2 19, Anaya Lowe 1 0-0 2, Katessa Carter 0 0-0 0, Carlee Mullinax 0 0-2 0, Valencia White 0 0-0 0, Ayanna Foster 1 0-0 2, Caitlin Gamble 2 0-0 4, Katie Hafley 0 0-0 0, Dynasty Myles 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 1-7 39.

PIEDMONT (19-9) — Breanna Brazier 2 2-6 8, Bre Green 3 7-18 15, Keshauna Jones 0 1-2 1, Reisha Thompson 4 2-3 11, Lulu Jackson 0 0-0 0, Carlie Flowers 5 0-0 10, Kaitlyn Ridley 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 12-29 45.

Wellborn 10 14 6 9 — 39
Piedmont 6 19 8 12 — 45

3-point goals: Wellborn 4 (V. Carter 3, Dm. Myles); Piedmont 5 (Thompson, Brazier 2, Green 2). Total fouls: Wellborn 24, Piedmont 10. Fouled out: K. Carter.Officials: Smith, Harvey, Beard.

Pleasant Valley 46, Weaver 35

WEAVER (7-19) — Tyanna Perry 1 0-1 2, Ciara Hardy 1 0-0 2, Keara Scott 4 0-2 9, Caliegh Cortez 3 0-0 6, Rayne Beck 1 0-2 2, Mariah Thompson 7 0-0 14. Totals 17 0-5 35.

PLEASANT VALLEY (16-12) — Kara Perry 6 0-0 12, Tiffany Williams 3 2-5 8, McKinley Parris 4 0-0 8, Atleigh Brannon 4 4-4 12, Bailey Turner 0 0-0 0, Kendall Johnson 0 0-0 0, Mikayla Simpson 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 6-9 46.

Weaver 13 10 10 2 — 35
Pleasant Valley 20 12 10 4 — 46

3-point goal: Weaver 1 (Scott). Total fouls: Weaver 8, Pleasant Valley 14. Officials: Smith, Harvey, Beard.

Ragland 45, Faith Christian 27

FAITH CHRISTIAN — Emily Sills 1 0-0 2, Madison Stephens 3 4-12 11, Sydnee Johnson 0 0-0 0, Elizabeth McCullough 0 0-0 0, Cornelia Simpson 4 3-8 11, Logan Boyd 1 1-2 3. Totals 9 8-22 27.

RAGLAND — Carly Echols 4 0-1 9, Tyasa Howard 0 0-2 0, Payton Bearden 1 0-0 2, Taylor Boswell 0 0-0 0
Tabria Looney 0 0-0 0, Bailey Petitt 2 0-0 4, Savannah Kay 1 3-6 5, Belle McKinney 6 4-9 16, Kersten Looney 4 1-1 9. Totals 18 8-19 45.

Faith Christian 7 10 4 6 — 27
Ragland 8 10 8 19 — 45

3-point goals: Faith 1 (Stephens); Ragland 1 (Echols). Total fouls: Faith 17, Ragland 19. Fouled out: McCullough, Simpson.

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