E.A. Sports Today

Lady Cubs survive scare

Alexandria fell behind early, then withstood two JCA bids to tie the game late

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Cinderella would not go away Tuesday night as 1A Jacksonville Christian gave Alexandria all it wanted and more before the 5A Lady Cubs pulled out a 38-34 win in the Calhoun County Girls Basketball Tournament.

The Lady Cubs (7-7), playing without injured star Timberlyn Shurbutt, advanced to play second-seeded Saks in the quarterfinals at Pete Mathews Coliseum Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

After losing an early lead, the Thunder (11-5) kept coming back in the fourth quarter and had a 3-point shot rim out with 19 seconds left and turned it over with three seconds to go, both of which would have tied the game.

They also had a 3 taken off the board in the first quarter due to an early whistle on an injury that would have been huge. It was a disappointing finish, but overall a scrappy determined effort against the Valley Cubs.

“Our kids played so extremely hard,” JCA coach Tommy Miller said. “Alexandria was without one of their better players, but their other players did an outstanding job of filling in and we give them a lot of credit. But, I could not ask anything more out of our kids. They played so well in this tournament.”

The Thunder used the 3-ball to stun the Valley Cubs in the first quarter. Briah Cupp hit two and Joeley Cupp hit one, and the hot shooting from outside coupled with a stingy zone defense gave the Thunder an 11-3 first-quarter lead.

It was a different story in the second, though, as the Cubs began pounding the ball down low to Bre Bradford. She scored six points and Catelyn Howell added five as Alexandria took a 17-12 halftime lead.

Gracie Muncher drilled two 3-pointers in the third quarter to keep the scrappy Thunder at bay and extend the lead to 29-22 as they entered the fourth quarter.

Kayla Barnes and Joeley Cupp had 3-pointers in the final quarter for JCA. Bradford came up big for the Valley Cubs by scoring six of the last 10 points.

“We struggled with our ball-handling with Shurbutt out, as she ran things for us and we had to shift people around into new positions.” Valley Cubs coach Jordan Costner said. “We started getting the ball down under to Bradford, and Shelby Lowery played big for us also.”

Lowery had six points and 10 rebounds. Bradford led the Cubs with 13 points and Muncher added 10.

Barnes and Briah Cupp led JCA with nine points apiece. Sarah Crook hauled in 10 rebounds.

Alexandria 38, Jacksonville Christian 34

JCA (11-5) — Joeley Cupp 2 0-0 6, Hayley Moses 0 0-0 0, Briah Cupp 3 1-2 9, Sarah Crook 3 0-1 6, Kylie Cupp 0 0-0 0, Olvia Jones 0 2-4 2, Kayla Barnes 3 2-2 9, Sidney Hancock 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 5-9 34.

ALEXANDRIA (7-7) — Sarah Kilgore 2 0-0 4, Bre Bradford 6 1-3 13, Gracie Muncher 3 1-1 9, Molly Parker 0 0-0 0, Catelyn Howell 0 2-2 2, Brooke Ponder 0 0-0 0, Shelby Lowery 1 4-6 6, Destiny Heathcock 1 0-1 3, Allison Bonds 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 8-13 34.

Jacksonville Christian 11 1 10 12 — 34
Alexandria 3 14 12 9 — 38

3-point goals: JCA (J. Cupp 2, B. Cupp 2, Barnes); Alexandria 4 (Muncher 3, Heathcock 1).

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