E.A. Sports Today

Lady Cubs win in 2 OTs

Alexandria rallies from 7 down in fourth quarter to force overtime, wins in second OT; plays Anniston for area title

Alexandria coach Jordan Costner gives her troops instruction during a timeout Monday. The Lady Cubs came from seven down to start the fourth quarter to winning in double overtime.

Alexandria coach Jordan Costner gives her troops instruction during a timeout Monday. The Lady Cubs came from seven down to start the fourth quarter to winning in double overtime.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

When the Alexandria girls basketball team lost recognized leader Timberlyn Shurbutt right before the County Tournament there weren’t many inside and outside the program who gave the Lady Cubs much chance for any success going forward.

“When Timberlyn went down I thought the season would go down with her,” Lady Cubs guard Gracie Muncher said.

But the players have learned and accepted new roles and reach down a little deeper every time they play. And because of that they are destined for a spot in the Class 5A substate after beating St. Clair County 44-40 in double overtime Monday in the Area 12 tournament at Anniston High School.

The Lady Cubs meet top-seeded Anniston for the area title Thursday. Regardless of that outcome, they are moving to the next level of tournament play.

“It’s really exciting, especially since we lost one of our good players,” guard Catelynn Howell said. “It’s a good feeling.”

After the game coach Jordan Costner reflected on the resiliency of her team through the face of adversity. You want resiliency? The Lady Cubs trailed trailed by seven going into the fourth quarter.

“They played with some pride and some heart, and that’s what I told them would win them the ballgame,” Costner said. “They’re a young bunch. They’ve had to step up in some roles they hadn’t been accustomed to and they did a good job tonight.”

Since Shurbutt’s injury, Howell and Muncher have had to assume bigger roles handling pressure and they were a big part of Monday’s victory.

Muncher’s 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 37 and forced overtime when he forced last-second shot fell short. On the 3 she made she let it go as if it were any other shot and when it went through Costner called it “the momentum changer.”

Howell, meanwhile, scored a game-high 15 points, including a driving layup with 1:29 left in the second overtime that gave Alexandria a 43-38 lead. She also had what looked to be the winning layup at the end of a scoreless first overtime, but the ball rattled in and out of the goal as the horn was sounding.

Anniston 96, Lincoln 16: The Lady Dawgs had their way with Lincoln for the third time this season.

Anniston coach Eddie Bullock wanted to see a sharpness from his girls despite the one-sided nature of its postseason opener and was satisfied with what he saw early.

“We just wanted to play and try to keep the intensity up,” he said. “They played solid and pretty hard. I didn’t want to have a letdown where we came out and have a bunch of turnovers, a bunch of missed shots and not be ready for the game.

“They’re playing pretty well. Hopefully we can make a run (at the state title) if we don’t have any mental letdowns and we just stay focused.”

Miajah Bullock hit 12 of 15 shots from the floor to score 25 points and had five rebounds and six steals. Raven Cooley was 7 of 15 from the floor and scored 21 points and had six steals. Davia Palmer had 12 points, six assists and five steals.

The Lady Dawgs have won all three meetings between the teams this season by at least 60 points and scored at least 90 in each of the last two.

The Lady Bears, who have beaten B.B. Comer for all three of their victories this season, held the ball for the final two minutes to keep Anniston from scoring 100 on them in coach Shea Monroe’s final game with the team. He has been the new football coach at Westbrook Christian since Feb. 1 but was committed to staying with the Lincoln girls until the completion of their final game.

“Coach Monroe and I are friends and we understand the competitive aspect of it,” Bullock said. “I tell him I’ve got to do a little bit of what I normally do to try to stay in tune, but at the same time, all my heart, I don’t like to see kids get embarrassed because I believe it’ll come back on you.

“Me and him have a fully understanding. We talked before the game. He knows my game plan just as well as I do; he knows what it is.”

Alexandria 44, St. Clair County 40 (2 OTs)

ST. CLAIR COUNTY (8-15) – Kylee Marrell 1 2-2 4, Madi Horton 0 0-0 0, Nadina Bishop 0 0-0 0, Erica Smith 0 0-0 0, Sarah Weldon 3 0-0 8, Gillian Perry 3 6-14 13, Kaitlyn Peoples 4 3-5 13, Rikyia Robinette 0 2-6 2. Totals 11 13-27 40.

ALEXANDRIA – Destiny Heathcock 1 0-0 2, Connieya Bradford 4 3-10 11, Shelby Lowery 0 3-5 3, Gracie Muncher 2 2-5 8, Molly Parker 0 0-0 0, Catelynn Howell 5 2-4 15, Allison Bonds 1 2-2 5. Totals 13 12-26 44.

St. Clair Co. 4 17 10 6 0 3 — 40
Alexandria 10 6 8 13 0 7 — 44

3-point goals: SCC 5 (Weldon 2, Perry 1, People 2); Alexandria 6 (Muncher 2, Howell 3, Bonds). Total fouls: SCC 16, Alexandria 20. Officials: Dupree, Hill, Gamble.

Anniston 96, Lincoln 16

LINCOLN – Kaitlyn Harmon 1 0-0 2, Courtney Edwards 1 0-0 2, Jessie Edge 0 0-0 0, Amaz Carmichael 5 0-1 10, Bailey Gowers 0 0-0 0, Taylor Lett 0 0-2 0, Sierra Robertson 0 0-0 0, Jayla Morris 0 0-2 0, Aysia Young 0 0-0 0, Taylor Conway 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 0-5 16.

ANNISTON – Miajah Bullock 12 1-2 25, Raven Cooley 7 5-6 21, Carlina Welch 3 0-0 6, Viera Edmondson 1 0-0 3, Davia Palmer 5 2-5 12, Keandra Finley 2 0-0 4, Amoriya Dudley 1 3-4 5, Jordyn Johnson 0 0-2 0, Monteiga Clemons 2 1-1 6, Carsheuna Curry 1 0-0 2, Toniah Foster 4 2-2 10, J’Kyra Clemons 0 0-0 0, Mattie Logan 0 0-0 0, Jemya Bullock 1 0-0 2. Totals 39 14-22 96.

Lincoln 4 2 8 2 — 16
Anniston 26 35 20 15 — 96

3-point goals: Anniston 4 (Cooley 2, Edmonson, M. Clemons). Fouled out: Carmichael. Total fouls: Lincoln 17, Anniston 14. Officials: Dupree, Hill, Gamble.

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