E.A. Sports Today

Jacksonville girls dominate Oneonta

Golden Eagles do all the little things to reach 4A Northeast Regional title game

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The Lady Golden Eagles of Jacksonville (27-4) made it clear where they want to go Saturday as they destroyed two-time defending state champion Oneonta 68-37 in the Class 4A Northeast Regional at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The Eagles (24-7) are one game away from their own return to Birmingham, where they won the state title in 2012. That one game is 1 p.m. Wednesday against Locust Fork (19-11), a 60-43 winner over Hokes Bluff earlier in the day.

”It was the best feeling in the world in 2012,” senior Virginia Poe said. “Angel (Kidd) and I are trying to tell this team what it was like and be leaders. We feel like the leadership is on us. I would rather score no points, play good defense and do the little things right and win than score a bunch of points. It is the little things that win basketball games.”

In comparing this year’s team with the 2012 model, coach Ryan Chambless said, “I think we have more girls that can play this year and we are able to play a lot more people.”

The Golden Eagles did a lot of little things right in this one. Kidd and Poe were raining 3s and Dasia Kirksey and Sierra Stone were controlling the boards.

It was a stunning exhibition of basketball in the first half as they rolled out to a 27-16 lead. The Redskins (26-6) were dazed by a Jacksonville press that created 11 first-half turnovers. Poe picked up her game, as she usually does in big games, and had five points, five rebounds and two steals and jumpstarted the offense.

Meanwhile, the Lady Eagles pounded the ball inside to Stone who drew seven first-half fouls on the two Oneonta post players and scored five first-half points while taking eight rebounds. Kidd added six points and Kirksey had eight points in the big first half.

“We felt like they did not have a deep bench and our plan was to go inside and wear them down, and we were able to get them in foul trouble,” Chambless said.

The second half was even more impressive with Kidd picking up 13 points and Poe adding 12 points as they opened up a 39-16 before sending in the reserves to finish.

Baylee Gibbs, the only returning starter from the two championship teams, provided most of Oneonta’s offense with 18 points. She scored 18 of the last 21 Oneonta points.

The Jacksonville defense was so suffocating the Redskins only had 34 shots from the floor. The Lady Eagles scored 21 points off turnovers.

Four of Jacksonville’s five starters scored in double figures. Kidd finished with 19 points, Poe 17, Stone 14 and Kirksey 10. Sophomore Stone completed a double-double with 14 rebounds.

“Stone has been having double-doubles for us lately and I really have to pick on her sometimes,” Chambless said. “She could easily have 25-25 games sometimes, I think. She does a lot of the little things that it takes.”

(On the cover: Jacksonville’s Sierra Stone (13), shown in an earlier game, had a double-double Saturday.)

Jacksonville 68, Oneonta 37

JACKSONVILLE (27-4) — Virginia Poe 7-11 1-2 17, Angel Kidd 6-12 4-5 19, Destiny Easley 0-6 0-0 0, Sierra Stone 4-5 6-14 14, Dasia Kirksey 4-10 2-3 10, Tatiyana Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Kyra Williams 1-5 1-2 3, Ataliya Morgan 0-2 0-0 0, Brandi Canady 0-0 0-0 0, Malieah Patterson 0-1 0-0 0, Kelsey Ervin 0-2 0-0 0, Quenteeria Mooney 1-1 0-0 3, Aniyah Robinson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-56 14-26 68.

ONEONTA (26-6) — Grace Coefield 1-8 4-4 6, Baylee Gibbs 7-13 4-10 18, Candice Payne 1-4 3-6 5, Meghan Claburn 0-2 0-0 0, Dynasty Sanders 1-4 1-2 3, Anna Frey 0-0 0-0 0, Erin Roberson 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Criswell 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Duke 2-2 0-0 5, Savannah Roberson 0-0 0-0 0, Taya Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-34 12-22 37.

Jacksonville 16 11 21 20 — 68
Oneonta 5 11 7 14 — 37

3-point goals: Jacksonville 6-17 (Poe 2-5, Kidd 3-5, Easley 0-3, Williams 0-1, Morgan 0-2, Mooney 1-1); Oneonta 1-6 (Coefield 0-2, Payne 0-1, Claburn 0-2, Duke 1-1). Rebounds: Jacksonville 45 (Stone 14, Kirksey 8); Oneonta 25 (Gibbs 5). Total fouls: Jacksonville 17, Oneonta 17. Fouled out: Duke. Officials: Allen, Perry, Baldwin.

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