E.A. Sports Today

Haralson County heartbreak

Girls roundup: Spring Garden falls in the girls title game on two free throws with less than five seconds to play

WEDNESDAY SCORES
Glencoe Holiday Shootout: Boaz 44, St. Clair County 7
Glencoe Holiday Shootout: Oxford 48, Cedar Bluff 45
Glencoe Holiday Shootout: Alexandria 42, Glencoe 32
Glencoe Holiday Shootout: Oneonta 42, White Plains 36
Haralson County Invitational: Haralson County 54, Spring Garden 52
Pell City Tournament: Springville 43, Jacksonville 35
Destin Holiday Classic: Seneca (SC) 56, Saks 52

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

TALLAPOOSA, Ga. — Maybe it was a good thing Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin had plans to head to the mountains with his family right after the game. It might be the perfect getaway to clear his head after such a tough loss Wednesday night.

Austin’s Lady Panthers lost to host Haralson County 54-52 in the championship game of the Hilburn-Patterson Haralson County Invitational when tournament MVP Alexis Boykin hit two free throws with 4.7 seconds left following a loose-ball foul that in another circumstance might have just played out to the horn.

While it may have made the hometown crowd happy, the call — out of a mad scramble in the Spring Garden end — and free throws that followed tipped the balance of an intensely entertaining game between two otherwise evenly matched teams.

“I’m frustrated with the loose ball,” Austin said. “Everything else was basketball, but that last play, you don’t make that call unless it’s such an obvious call … You just absolutely don’t see that with two, three seconds left on the clock.

“It’s a scramble for a ball and there’s five kids on the floor and you single one out. Very questionable call, but that’s life. There are going to be things like that happen to us in life; that’s what we talk about. We’re not going to wallow in it, we’re going to walk out of here and realize what we did.”

The two-time defending tournament champion Lady Panthers (9-4) played a much-needed game with a purpose and Austin is convinced they’ll be better down the road because of it even though they lost.

The trailed by seven at halftime, but mounted a comeback behind a barrage of 3-pointers from Savannah Dempsey and Madison Sides, and then put the game in the hands of post Tykeah Rogers in the fourth quarter.

Rogers, an all-tournament pick, had 28 points and 19 rebounds. She scored 12 of the Lady Panthers’ 15 points in the fourth quarter. The only points she didn’t get in the quarter was a 3-pointer by Dempsey that gave them a 50-45 lead with 2:15 to play.

It was Rogers’ two free throws with 39.7 seconds left that gave Spring Garden a 52-50 lead and it was her driving layup through traffic and contact in a 52-52 game that set the decisive mad scramble in motion.

“She’s the best player in this tournament, boy or girl, gender versus gender,” Austin said. “She had the biggest impact on any team here; no doubt the best player here. I’m just proud she’s on my team.

“I think she finally got herself back in some rhythm these three days. Her injury early got her out, but I think she hit some good rhythm here this week.”

Rogers admitted it was the “best game I’ve played by far” coming off her foot injury.

Even after Boykin hit the go-ahead free throws for the Rebelettes (9-1), the Lady Panthers had some time to get a tying or winning shot, but Boykin disrupted by inbounds pass. Spring Garden retained possession, but with 2.5 seconds left and the length of the floor to go and Rogers couldn’t get a real good final shot.

“It was a great game, a game I feel like we could get better out of and I think we did,” Austin said. “I told the girls before we played we need this game, we need to play for a purpose; we hadn’t had a real purpose all year.

“I thought this was a great game for us, even though we got beat. I think we can turn this negative into a positive. I think this can be great for us down the road. We can get better from this.”

It’ll just hurt for a little while.

Glencoe Holiday Shootout

Oxford 48 Cedar Bluff 45: Jordan Smith scored 24 points and Ebony Kelley had 11 as the Lady Yellow Jackets (6-6) overcame 37 turnovers to win the consolation game. Smith also grabbed 17 rebounds and Kelley had 16. Smith was 6-of-7 from the free throw line.

The game was close throughout. The Lady Jackets led by five with less than a minute left. Cedar Bluff had a chance to cut its deficit to two with 25 seconds left. It did get within three, then missed a 3-pointer to tie and hurriedly put up a jumper looking for an and-one, but missed the mark.

Delilah Price and Kiana Dobbins had 16 points each for Cedar Bluff (8-3).

Boaz 42, St. Clair County 7: Kaitlyn Gillian scored 15 points and Katie Ratcliff had eight points and eight rebounds as the Lady Pirates (10-4) collected their fourth straight victory and the girls tournament title.

Pell City Tournament

Springville 43, Jacksonville 35: The Lady Golden Eagles had another tough day on the boards, getting outrebounded 34-24 and giving up 12 second-chance points.

Jacksonville’s Kyra Williams led all scorers with 19 points. Sabrina Boyd led Springville with 13 points and seven rebounds (six on the offensive glass). Kylee Kimbrough grabbed a game-high 12 boards.

“We played some good ball and competed hard, we just gave up too many easy baskets and got beat up on the boards,” Jacksonville coach Tres Buzan said. “We haven’t got it all together yet, but we will. We’ve got to get back to practice and keep getting better.”

Destin Holiday Classic

Seneca (SC) 56, Saks 52: Jessica Sparks scored 17 points to send the Lady Wildcats (8-5) to their third loss of the tournament. Saks’ Bre Browning led all scorers with 19 points.

In another game involving an Alabama team, Tuscaloosa Central beat Fort Walton Beach 49-36 for fifth place.

WEDNESDAY’S GIRLS BOXSCORES

Haralson County 54, Spring Garden 52

SPRING GARDEN (9-4) – A.J. Broome 0 0-0 0, Kerstin Bryant 0 0-0 0, Madison Sides 4 0-0 12, Savannah Dempsey 3 1-1 10, Payton McGinnis 0 2-4 2, Tykeah Rogers 8 12-17 28. Totals 15 15-24 52.

HARALSON COUNTY (9-1) – Tori Causey 3 2-2 11, Alexis Boykin 5 3-7 14, Katie Flanagan 0 1-1 1, Claire Robinson 1 0-0 3, Dea Harbison 2 2-2 6, Jada Ross 6 1-4 13, Savannah Payne 0 0-0 0, Emily Duvall 0 0-0 0, Kaycee McElroy 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 9-16 54.

Spring Garden 8 11 16 17 — 52
Haralson County 15 11 12 16 — 54

3-point goals: Spring Garden 7 (Sides 4, Dempsey 3); Haralson County 5 (Causey 3, Boykin, Robinson). Fouled out: Bryant. Total fouls: Spring Garden 13, Haralson County 21.

Springville 43, Jacksonville 35

SPRINGVILLE — Sabrina Boyd 6-11 1-1 13, Jaylyn Felder 4-12 3-3 12, Chyna Winston 3-7 2-2 8, Kylee Kimbrough 2-7 3-4 7, Becca Buckner 1-8 0-2 2, Riley Barrett 0-2 0-0 0, Heather Levan 0-0 0-0 0, Piper Long 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Roberts 0-1 0-0 0, Caitlin Waits 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 9-12 42.

JACKSONVILLE — Kyra Williams 6-12 3-4 19, Dasia Kirksey 3-5 0-0 7, Ataliya Morgan 3-7 0-2 7, Aniya Jefferson 1-3 0-0 2, Aniyah Robinson 0-4 0-0 0, Kelsey Ervin 0-0 0-0 0, Malieah Patterson 0-2 0-0 0, Essence Hutchinson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 13-35 3-6 35.

Springville 9 14 11 9 — 43
Jacksonville 11 8 8 8 — 35

3-point goals: Springville 2-7 (Felder 1-2, Kimbrough 0-1, Buckner 1-4); Jacksonville 6-13 (Williams 4-6, Kirksey 1-1, Morgan 1-4, Hutchinson 0-2). Rebounds: Springville 34 (Kimbrough 12), Jacksonville 24 (Robinson 6). Fouled out: Morgan. Total fouls: Springville 7, Jacksonville 8.

Oxford 48, Cedar Bluff 45

OXFORD (6-6) – Anna Bolton 1-4 2-3 4, Makayla Kidd 0-1 0-0 0, Winter Taylor 2-12 1-3 5, Acacia Kidd 0-4 0-0 0, Tremeria Britt 1-15 0-6 2, Ebony Kelley 5-14 1-1 11, Alex Gomez 1-1 0-0 2, Jordan Smith 9-15 6-7 24, Totals 19-66 10-14 48.

CEDAR BLUFF (8-3) — Kiana Dobbins 7 2-6 16, Delilah Price 6 4-9 16, Marigrace Wilson 1 0-1 2, Hannah Cosby 3 1-2 7, Alexis Smith 0 2-4 2, Olivia McClellan 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 9-22 45.

Oxford 8 18 9 13 — 48
Cedar Bluff 5 17 14 9 — 45

Fouled out: M. Kidd. Total fouls: Cedar Bluff 16, Oxford 22.



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