E.A. Sports Today

Oxford girls stage big rally

Lady Yellow Jackets rally from 21 points down in the second half to win their area championship

By East Alabama Sports Today

PELL CITY — Tonya Peoples can’t remember coming back from a bigger deficit to win. She knows she’s never been prouder of a team’s resolve.

The Oxford girls basketball team won the Class 6A Area 10 championship Thursday night by rallying from 21 points down in the second half to beat top-seeded Pell City 54-53.

They scored only four points in the second quarter and trailed by 16 at halftime. The deficit continued to grow in the second half before the Lady Jackets started chipping away.

“It was just an unbelievable will to win,” Peoples said. “Once we got some shots to fall in the second half we gained some confidence and just kept rolling with it.”

The Lady Jackets scored 37 points in the second half, 19 by Winter Taylor, who simply put the team on back. She hit three 3-pointers in the half, including one right before the third-quarter horn that sparked the fourth-quarter surge.

The surge was so big they actually led 54-50 before Akeera King hit a 3-pointer with mere seconds remaining to bring the final margin.

“We finally started making some shots and once we started making some shots we gained some confidence going into the fourth quarter,” Peoples said. “Once we got some confidence and that belief going, that momentum changed so big it got them on their heels and we just kept coming. It was un-be-live-able.

“In that situation I’ve never been more proud of a group of girls and their refuse-to-lose attitude. It was just unbelievable in the belief that they had in themselves and each other. They just kept on plugging away.”

Taylor finished with 25 points. Ebony Kelly had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

The Lady Jackets shot 46 percent from the floor in the second half and were 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

The stunning comeback earned them a home game in Monday’s subregional round against the loser of Friday’s Fort Payne-Albertville game. The winner Monday gets a trip to the Northeast Regional.

Oxford 54, Pell City 53

OXFORD – Anna Bolton 1-1 0-0 2, Makayla Kidd 0-2 0-0 0, Winter Taylor 4-15 5-8 25, Acacia Kidd 0-0 0-0 0, Tremeria Britt 1-4 0-1 5, Ebony Kelley 8-12 2-5 18, Alex Gomez 0-0 0-0 0, Halaya Harmon 0-0 0-0 0, Jordan Smith 2-6 0-0 4, Grace Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-52 7-14 54.

PELL CITY — Kayla Millender 3 6-6 12, Makaylia Posey 0 0-2 0, Mary Denman Luker 5 4-7 17, Jada Collins 2 0-0 4, Akeera King 1 2-2 5, Ashantee Wade 0 0-0 0, Courtney Jadan 5 4-4 15. Totals 16 16-21 53.

Oxford 13 4 17 20 — 54
Pell City 19 14 11 9 — 53

3-point goals: Oxford 5-12 (Taylor 4-8, Britt 1-4); Pell City 5 (Luker 3, King, Jadan). Rebounds: Oxford 29 (Kelley 12, Smith 9); Pell City 20. Fouled out: M. Kidd. Total fouls: Oxford 18, Pell City 17. Officials: Walker, Robinson, Gerrman.

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