E.A. Sports Today

PV girls run past Ohatchee

Lady Raiders credit a preseason running with state champion cross country team for helping it ‘endure’ in the opener; Weaver wins opener

Ohatchee's Hannah Howell (4) plays some tight defense on Pleasant Valley's Atleigh Brannon. The Indians kept Brannon in check for three quarters, before she broke loose in the fourth. (Photo by Krista Walker)

Ohatchee’s Hannah Howell (4) plays some tight defense on Pleasant Valley’s Atleigh Brannon. The Indians kept Brannon in check for three quarters, before she broke loose in the fourth. (Photo by Krista Walker)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Brad Hood didn’t have a whole lot of time to bask in the glow of Pleasant Valley’s cross country state championship before moving onto the next big thing.

The day after the Lady Raiders won it all on the course in Moulton, Hood was in the gym holding basketball practice in preparation for his first game back as their girls basketball coach.

Although they are two completely different sports, when Hood breaks down the Lady Raiders’ 48-32 win over Ohatchee Monday, he sees where the outdoor sport had a major influence on the indoor one.

“The big deal tonight was our ability to run,” he said. “Although our girls were bigger and a little slower, they actually did a good job getting up and down the floor.

“Our girls are not in basketball shape, but they have endurance. A lot of that is credited to every one of those girls ran three days a week with the cross country team from September to the first official practice of basketball.

“They were building endurance. Not one of them complained, not one of them skipped out. They ran the miles like the cross country team did. My No. 1 goal was to build some endurance. Our girls mentally know they can go four quarters if they have to.”

When it came to hustle points, the Lady Raiders were all over it. They won the battle of the boards 35-21, had 20 steals, scored 25 points off the 28 turnovers they forced and had 17 points in transition.

The Lady Raiders took control of the game with a 14-2 run over the final 4:52 of the first half that wiped out a 15-9 deficit. Parris had six and Mikala Simpson had four in the flurry.

They outscored Ohatchee 25-15 in the second half without making a substitution to pull away. They dominated inside with Kara Perry and Simpson as the Indians did a nice job containing Atleigh Brannon.

Brannon eventually broke loose in the fourth quarter and wound up leading all scorers with 15 points, Mac Parris had 14 points, Simpson had nine and Perry had eight. Ally McCoy led Ohatchee with nine points – all in the first half on three 3-pointers.

“We had a lot of good looks, we just didn’t finish them off,” Hood said. “How many good looks did we have down there tonight?”


Mariah Thompson scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Lady Bearcats. Rayne Beck added 10 points.

Weaver led 26-12 at halftime, coach Gary Atchley challenged his team at the break and “we came out on fire.”

Pleasant Valley 48, Ohatchee 32

OHATCHEE (0-1) – Taylor Hamm 0 0-0 0, Courtney Poole 3 0-2 8, Hannah Howell 2 0-0 4, Ally McCoy 3 0-0 9, Kourtney Shuler 0 0-0 0, Kacie Cooper 0 0-0 0, Makenzie Hanks 2 0-0 4, Madison Hanks 1 0-0 2, Shey Clements 0 0-0 0, Cheyenne McCarter 2 1-2 5. Totals 13 1-4 32.

PLEASANT VALLEY (1-0) – Kara Perry 3 2-6 8, Lindsey Pritchett 1 0-0 2, McKinley Parris 6 1-2 14, Atleigh Brannon 6 2-2 15, Alyssa Cash 0 0-0 0, Kendall Johnson 0 0-0 0, Mikala Simpson 3 3-4 9, Courtney Upton 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-14 48.

Ohatchee 6 11 5 10 — 32
Pleasant Valley 7 16 10 15 — 48

3-point goals: Ohatchee 5 (Poole 2, McCoy 3); Pleasant Valley 2 (Parris, Brannon). Total fouls: Ohatchee 14, Pleasant Valley 4. Officials: Strott, Davis, Maske.

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