E.A. Sports Today

Slow start dooms PV

Lady Raiders play once-beaten Pisgah relatively even for three quarters, but early turnovers put them in a bind

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The record-setting season the Pleasant Valley girls strung together in 2016 came to an end Saturday as their hope for a push to Birmingham ended abruptly.

The Lady Raiders fell behind early and couldn’t overcome it, falling to Pisgah 60-42 in the Class 3A Northeast Regionals.

Pleasant Valley (26-4) had not been to the regional since 2002 when they lost to Gaston. Before that, the Lady Raiders played Pisgah in 1994 and lost in the first regional appearance by either team.

“First off, I just want to thank my team for the season we had,” first-year Lady Raiders coach Brad Hood said. “We had a record-breaking season with 26 wins and getting this far in the postseason. They made a run in the county tournament, won a Thanksgiving and a Christmas tournament, and won the area tournament.”

Pisgah (29-1) started the game off with a bang and took a 22-9 lead into the second quarter as the Lady Raiders could not get their shots to fall.

The Lady Raiders battled back and played the Lady Eagles about even the rest of the way, but the slow start proved fatal.

“They were a very good team,” Hood said. “Turnovers killed us and when you make big mistakes with a really good ball club like that they magnify them. They also put good pressure on our guards which made for a long evening.”

The Lady Raiders were charged with 25 turnovers, off which Pisgah scored 18 points. They scored nine of those turnover points in the first quarter. The Lady Eagles scored the first nine points of the game with seven coming directly off PV turnovers.

Pisgah’s Shelby Lacey led all scorers with 28 points. She was 10-of-18 from the field, including 6-of-12 from 3-point range. Annie Hughes had 16 points with seven rebounds, while Presley Johnson had 11 points.

Atleigh Brannon led the Lady Raiders with 14 points. Mikala Simpson had nine points and McKinley Parris eight.

“We played a good game, but it was a little odd for us,” Pisgah coach Carey Ellison said. “We knew that Pleasant Valley was going to play us strong so it was important to get off to that early lead. They did what we expected defensively so that allowed us to stick to the game plan and really attack on offense.”

Pisgah 60, Pleasant Valley 42

PISGAH (29-1) – Shelby Lacy 10-18 2-2 28, Annie Hughes 7-12 0-3 16, Presley Johnson 5-15 0-0 11, Emily White 2-8 0-0 4, Presley Higdon 0-2 1-2 1, Brooke Frost 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Weaver 0-0 0-0 0, Alanna Paschal 0-0 0-0 0, Chloe Womack 0-0 0-0 0, Jade Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Savannah Mason 0-0 0-0 0, Cheree Roden 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 24-55 3-9 60.

PLEASANT VALLEY (26-4) – Atleigh Brannon 5-13 3-3 14, Mikala Simpson 3-9 2-2 9, McKinley Parris 3-13 2-3 8, Kara Perry 2-7 1-2 5, Kendall Johnson 2-4 0-0 4, Lindsey Pritchett 1-2 0-0 2, Courtney Upton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 8-10 42.

Pisgah 22 12 12 14 — 60
Pleasant Valley 9 10 11 12 — 42

3-point goals: Pisgah 9-24 (Lacy 6-12, Hughes 2-3, Johnson 1-7, Higdon 0-2); Pleasant Valley 2-14 (Brannon 1-3, Simpson 1-5, Perry 0-2, Parris 0-4). Rebounds: Pisgah 34 (Hughes 7), Pleasant Valley 35 (Johnson 5, Pritchett 5). Fouled out: Simpson. Total fouls: Pisgah 19, Pleasant Valley 13. Officials: Cedrick Hawkins, Tetonka Williams, Cordell Davis.

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