E.A. Sports Today

Bullock a ‘triple’ threat

Miajah Bullock scores a triple-double, earns MVP as Anniston girls claims Class 5A Area 12 title

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

Anniston girls basketball coach Eddie Bullock said after his team’s victory Thursday night that star junior Miajah Bullock – his niece — could be unstoppable if she just played a little more freely.

As her team clinched the Class 5A Area 12 championship over Alexandria 69-36, all Miajah did was have a triple-double and win MVP of the tournament. That is about as free as it gets.

Bullock led the Lady Bulldogs with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals. Raven Cooley had 17 points with seven rebounds, while Davia Palmer had 10 points.

“I am very proud of what I and my teammates have accomplished so far this season,” Miajah said as she held her MVP trophy firmly. “When we play good defense it opens up the game for us and allows us to play at a higher level.”

Anniston’s boys also won their area championship, beating Alexandria, 56-50.

Anniston dominated the Lady Cubs with a strong defense that has become the underlying theme for the Lady Bulldogs this season.

“Defense right now is the main focus of the team,” Coach Bullock said. “I have to fuss at the girls sometimes and tell them that we won’t win games just shooting the ball and we can set up the tempo of the game for us by playing solid defense.”

The Lady Bulldogs had 30 steals in the game as they pressed Alexandria up and down the court, suffocating a team that has been missing injured star Timberlyn Shurbutt since right before the County Tournament. Shelby Lowery and Connieya Bradford led the Lady Cubs in scoring with 13 points each.

“They’re so quick and (Bullock) has had these girls playing for a long time,” Alexandria coach Jordan Costner said. “In the second and third quarters they really turned the press on and wore us out. I simply just do not like to play them.”

Anniston and its stellar defense now hosts Area 11 runnerup Springville in Monday’s subregional round. Alexandria travels to area winner Hayden. Those winners advance to the Northeast Regional.

Alexandria has had its share of ups and downs this season, but for the Valley Cubs just making it this far in the post-season should be good in and of itself.

“This team has struggled through a lot this season,” Costner said. “We just have to keep going and keep trying to play better each game.”

Anniston, meanwhile, is looking to once again make a deep run into the playoffs. If Miajah Bullock and her teammates keep playing good defense and staying “loose” then destiny may be on their side.

“Right now we are just focused on the next game up,” Eddie Bullock said. “If we focus on that, then we will be in the right mindset moving on.”

Anniston 69, Alexandria 36

ALEXANDRIA – Kameron Simpson 0 0-2 0, Sarah Kilgore 0 0-0 0, Connieya Bradford 4 5-10 13, Gracie Muncher 0 0-3 0, Molly Parker 0 0-1 0, Catelynn Howell 2 0-0 5, Brooke Ponder 0 0-0 0, Shelby Lowery 3 6-8 13, Destiny Heathcock 0 1-2 1, Kaitlyn Harvey 1 0-0 2, Kayleigh Steen 0 0-0 0, Allison Bonds 1 0-0 2, Aherra Bradford 0 0-2 0. Totals 11 12-28 36.

ANNISTON – Miajah Bullock 11 7-10 29, Raven Cooley 8 0-0 17, Carlina Welch 1 0-0 2, Viera Edmondson 0 0-0 0, Davia Palmer 4 2-2 10, Keandra Finley 1 0-0 2, Amoriya Dudley 1 0-0 2, Jordyn Johnson 0 0-0 0, Monteiga Clemons 0 0-0 0, Carsheuna Curry 1 0-1 2, Toniah Foster 1 0-0 2, J’Kyra Clemons 0 0-0 0, Mattie Logan 0 1-2 1, Jemya Bullock 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 10-15 69.

Alexandria 7 12 9 8 — 36
Anniston 8 19 23 19 — 69

3-point goals: Alexandria 2 (Howell, Lowery); Anniston 1 (Cooley). Fouled out: Howell. Total fouls: Alexandria 15, Anniston 23. Officials: Coley, McDonald, Burrell.

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