E.A. Sports Today

Palmer out front

Anniston coach Bullock gives his unsung hero her moment as Lady Dawgs head to Final Four for third year in a row

Guard Davia Palmer is the unsung hero in the Anniston girls' lineup. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Guard Davia Palmer is the unsung hero in the Anniston girls’ lineup. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Davia Palmer was headed to the dressing room to complete her usual post-game routine when she felt a tap on her shoulder.

She turned around and got a big hug from Anniston girls coach Eddie Bullock, who told her to come with him.

Bullock escorted the senior guard into the post-game news conference after the Lady Bulldogs beat Madison County 66-60 for their unprecedented third straight Northeast Regional championship.

It was his way of acknowledging a player who otherwise tends to get overlooked among some of the stronger star power on the Anniston roster. Yet in a lot of ways she’s as invaluable to their cause as tournament MVP Raven Cooley, Miajah Bullock or any of the team’s emerging post players.

And he wanted to let the world know about it.

“I don’t want her work to go unnoticed,” Bullock said. “She kind of thought I didn’t believe in her somewhat, but I told her tonight this is that adversity I talked to you about – you’re either going to do it or you’re going to step aside, and she said, ‘Coach, I got it.’”

“You want to give credit where credit is due and I wanted her to publicly know that her coach loves her and how much he cares about her. I can say it in the locker room all the time but it don’t mean anything until y’all actually know and hear it from me.”

On Tuesday Palmer scored all seven of her points from the free throw line, going 7-for-8, including the first two of the seven the Lady Dawgs made in the final minute to seal the game. She also had four assists and two steals.

It has been a long road that brought Palmer to Tuesday’s post-game press conference. She was slowed at the end of last season by an ankle injury she sustained in the County Tournament and then she pulled her hamstring on the anchor leg of the 4×100 relay in the County Track Meet that kept her from working out with the team in the summer.

Palmer said Bullock has been telling her the things he told the media Tuesday and was “surprised” when her coach summoned her to meet the press.

“It makes me feel good,” she said, “and more confident.”

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