E.A. Sports Today

Golden Eagles smother Ohatchee

Kyra Williams scores 23, defense holds Ohatchee scoreless in two quarters, as Jacksonville advances to the girls semis

Jacksonville's Kyra Williams (3) drives past Ohatchee's Hannah Howell during their Calhoun County Tournament quarterfinal game Thursday. Williams scored 23 points to lead the Golden Eagles. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Jacksonville’s Kyra Williams (3) drives past Ohatchee’s Hannah Howell during their Calhoun County Tournament quarterfinal game Thursday. Williams scored 23 points to lead the Golden Eagles. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Kyra Williams was slightly anxious for her interview Thursday night as she gazed into the multiple microphones that surrounded her after she helped Jacksonville beat Ohatchee 44-25 in the Calhoun County Tournament.

“I’m a little nervous,” she said. “When I’m out playing in front of a crowd I’m not nervous, but coming in to do an interview gets me a little anxious.”

Williams did not play nervous though against the sixth-seeded Lady Indians. She scored 23 points and had six rebounds to go along with a pair of steals to lead all scorers to help her team get to the semifinals on Friday.

“I felt like I gave it a hundred percent tonight,” she said. “I think we all played well, especially on defense. I just wanted to play as well as I could to help my team with the win.”

The first quarter was a close battle between the third-seeded Golden Eagles and sixth-seeded Lady Indians.

Going into the second quarter the game was tied at seven, but Williams caught fire and had 13 points — including three 3-pointers — to put the game out of reach for Ohatchee.

The Lady Indians did not score in the second quarter or third quarter.

“Kyra, she is a catalyst for this team,” Jacksonville coach Tres Buzan said. “She is a hustle player, and when she plays well for us everyone else seems to play well, too.”

It was more of the same in the second half.

Williams and her teammates held Ohatchee scoreless until 7:15 left in the fourth quarter. Junior Aniyah Robinson had seven points for the Golden Eagles while Dasia Kirksey had six points and four rebounds.

“I think we did a good job making them take tough shots,” Buzan said. “We worked on that while we were doing the scouting report and it payed off, as you can see for most of that game.”

Ohatchee was led by Ally McCoy’s 11 points and six rebounds. Seniors Hannah Howell and Courtney Poole had four points apiece.

Ohatchee had played one game in the tournament already, beating Weaver on Tuesday. Jacksonville had a double-bye and was playing its first tournament game Thursday.

The extra rest was a big factor in how well the Golden Eagles played.

“It’s nice to get that double-bye,” Buzan said. “But at the same time it feels like it takes forever for that first game to get here. It was nice, though, finally getting out there tonight and I think we were fresh and that allowed us to play well.”

As fresh as the Golden Eagles were in this game, they will have a quick turnaround as they face second-seeded Saks in Friday’s 5 p.m. semifinal.

“Whether it is a tournament or a regular-season game we’re going to take it one game at a time,” Buzan said. “We know we have a really tough opponent tomorrow and if we can still be well rested, I think we have a good chance.”

Jacksonville 44, Ohatchee 25

OHATCHEE – Ally McCoy 2-11 6-6 11, Courtney Poole 1-4 2-2 4, Hannah Howell 2-7 0-1 4, Mack Hanks 1-5 0-0 3, Cheyenne McCarter 1-4 0-0 2, Madison Hanks 0-2 1-2 1, Kourtney Shuler 0-0 0-0 0, Kacie Cooper 0-0 0-0 0, Shey Clements 0-0 0-0 0, Taylor Hamm 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-33 9-11 25.

JACKSONVILLE – Kyra Williams 8-10 4-4 23, Aniyah Robinson 3-8 1-2 7, Dasia Kirksey 2-10 0-0 6, Destoni Edwards 2-2 0-0 4, Malieah Patterson 1-4 0-0 2. Ataliya Morgan 1-6 0-0 2, Aniya Jefferson 0-1 0-0 0, Kelsey Ervin 0-0 0-0 0, Essence Hutchinson 0-2 0-0 0, Kianna Guidry 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-43 5-6 44.

Ohatchee 7 0 0 18 — 25
Jacksonville 7 18 8 11 — 44

3-point goals: Ohatchee 2-13 (McCoy 1-5, Poole 0-1, Howell 0-2, Mc. Hanks 1-5); Jacksonville 5-13 (Williams 3-4, Kirksey 2-6, Patterson 0-1, Morgan 0-2). Rebounds: Ohatchee 33 (Mad. Hanks 8, McCarter 7). Jacksonville 23 (Williams 6). Total fouls: Ohatchee 11, Jacksonville 13. Officials: Pretnar, Howell, Glover.

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