E.A. Sports Today

Lindsay Lane wins ACAA girls crown

UPDATE: Lions respond to early adversity by going on big run, snap Victory’s state title string

Lindsay Lane's Cally Glass goes strong to the basket. (Photo by PrimeTimePrepz)

Lindsay Lane’s Cally Glass goes strong to the basket. (Photo by PrimeTimePrepz)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Sometimes a well-timed technical foul can be the spark that gets a team going.

Lindsay Lane coach Chris Holland wishes there was something more contrived about the ‘T’ he got late in the first quarter Saturday, but he won’t turn down what happened next or what it brought to his team.

Holland got popped for protesting the officiating a little too briskly, but the Lions responded to it with a 25-1 run that extended into the second half and sent them to a 56-39 rout of Victory Christian for the ACAA girls Division I state title.

Victory had won the previous three titles, including last year over Lindsey Lane.

“Our coach, he just gets us all riled up for no reason sometimes; that OK,” tournament MVP Emilee Murr said while icing down a sore right elbow she banged on the floor in a late-game collision.

Holland said “by no means” was it planned that way; the result was just a fortuitous response to “bad judgment on my part.” He said he was proud of his team’s response to adversity.

“The last time we got a technical we didn’t react that way,” he said. “That’s one of the things we talk about as a team – how do you react when things don’t go your way. That’s a testimony to a truly good team, when things go bad if you’re able to take that and make a positive out of it and I thought our girls did that today.”

Faith Miley made the second of the two technical free throws to give the Eagles a 9-8 lead. They didn’t score again from the field again until Miley scored on a put-back 82 seconds into the third quarter.

Murr scored 14 of her game-high 29 points in the run.

“I felt like I stepped up to what I needed to do,” the junior guard said. “I knew my role and my girls knew their roles and I think we worked really well as a team together.”

Holland said the team felt it left the championship trophy at the Oxford Civic Center last year against the Eagles when it didn’t handle what he called “the external factors” of the game and lost a seven-point halftime lead.

After watching the Eagles the day before, Holland thought his team could pressure them in the backcourt and force turnovers. They forced eight miscues in the game-breaking run and converted them into 11 points. It gave them an 18-point lead at halftime and they were never close to losing it.

“I knew we came out and we wanted to win that more than they did,” Murr said.

In addition to Murr’s big game, Cally Glass had 11 points and was just as impactful in the outcome despite being left off the all-tournament team. Miley had 23 points for Victory.

Murr and Miley were joined on the all-tournament team by Victory’s Kennedy Blunt, Tabernacle’s Lauren Box and New Life’s Jenni Blevins and Julianne Wilkes.

The Athens-based Lions will join the AHSAA next season, playing in Class 1A, and Holland said they are looking forward to the challenge.

“Mainly with our goals we’re looking for that to be a ministry more than anything,” he said. “We are wanting to use that as an opportunity to touch people’s lives who may not see other Christian schools (that way). We want to be that model for a lot of those schools to see even though we’re a Christian school we can play hard, we can play tough. We think it will be something that’ll help our school.”

Cover photo: Tournament MVP Emilee Murr gingerly takes her turn cutting down the net after Lindsay Lane won the state championship.

Lindsay Lane 56, Victory Christian 39

LINDSAY LANE (26-5) — Audra Putman 0 0-0 0, Shampell Williams 0 0-0 0, Emilee Murr 9 9-13 29, Kaleigh Madagan 0 0-0 0, Audrey Cash 0 0-0 0, Tori Taylor 1 2-2 4, Anna Lauderback 0 0-0 0, Chenethia Williams 2 0-0 4, Randi Beth Holland 1 0-0 2, Kyra Biggs 2 0-0 4, Cally Glass 6 1-2 13. Totals 21 12-17 56.

VICTORY CHRISTIAN (18-4) — Michaela Williams 0 0-0 0, Alex Brown 3 2-6 8, Alesha Taylor 0 3-5 3, Rebekah Smith 1 0-0 2, Suzy Heaton 0 0-0 0, Brittany Williams 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Blunt 1 0-0 3, Faith Miley 8 6-9 23, Emly Simmons 0 0-0 0. Kayla Harrell 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-20 39.

Lindsay Lane 7 21 15 13 — 56
Victory Christian 9 1 16 13 — 39

3-point goals: Lindsay Lane 2 (Murr 2); Victory Christian 2 (Blunt, Miley). Total fouls: Lindsay Lane 20, Victory Christian 16. Fouled out: Glass, C. Williams, Smith. Officials: Woods, Montgomery, Johnson.

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