E.A. Sports Today

Knocking off another

Weaver girls beat White Plains for first time this season, knock off second straight top 5 seed in upcoming county tournament

Weaver’s Mariah Thompson (23) attacks the basket against White Plains; she led all scorers with 20 points. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Gary Atchley is one of the most animated basketball coaches in Calhoun County. Wanna know how things are going with his Weaver girls team at any point in a game? Just look over to their bench and get a read on his expression.

Atchley was pretty excited during the Lady Bearcats’ 66-55 win at White Plains Monday afternoon.

He subtly threw out his fist after Tayanna Perry converted a two-on-one break with Caleigh Cortez early in the fourth quarter to give his team a 13-point lead. He called time with 30 seconds left after his team missed a layup to praise the defense his team was playing.

In the dressing room he really let loose.

“He started screaming, kicking the air; he was just happy about it,” Mariah Thompson said.

They all were, and for good reason. It was the first time the Lady Bearcats had beaten White Plains in four tries this season and snapped a four-game carry-over losing streak to the Lady Wildcats.

With their first win over Piedmont since 2006 late last week, the Lady Bearcats (8-8) have beaten two top five seeds in the upcoming Calhoun County Tournament in their last two games, and have an earlier-season win over No. 6 Wellborn. They are seeded No. 10.

They have been pointing to Monday’s game ever since losing to the Lady Wildcats in the Cleburne County Christmas Invitational final.

They didn’t just lose to White Plains in the earlier meetings this year, they were soundly beaten. They never scored more than 32 points in any of the three previous games and scored almost three times as many points Monday as they did in Heflin.

“It was very emotional for that bunch of girls in there,” Atchley said. “It’s tough to lose three games to somebody. After the Piedmont game, when we beat them, the first thing we said was we’re ready for the White Plains game. We were ready that instant.”

The zone offense they’ve been working on for weeks finally kicked in and produced four double figure scorers. Mariah Thompson had season-high 20 points, Rayne Beck 13 and Caleigh Cortez and Emily Reed 11 each.

Reed hit three 3-pointers, two in the fourth quarter when White Plains (9-7) tried to get its deficit into single digits after trailing by as many as 17.

“We were determined,” Beck said. “The tournament game was just not us. Once we got into this game we knew what we had to do so we all played as a team and pulled it together.”

Emily Reed hit a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep momentum on Weaver’s side.

Weaver 66, White Plains 55
WEAVER (8-8) –
Caleigh Cortez 5 1-7 11, Tayanna Perry 4 1-4 9, Rayne Beck 3 7-12 13, Emily Reed 4 0-0 11, Amira Carter 1 0-0 2, Mariah Thompson 7 2-6 20, Abby Gaines 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 11-29 66.

WHITE PLAINS (9-7) – Rian Chandler 4 2-4 10, Hanna Dyar 1 0-1 2, Hannah Barno 1 3-4 6, Jordan Sabree 2 0-0 4, Landry Bussey 0 4-4 4, Chasity Nelson 2 0-0 4, Ary Rosario 0 2-2 2, Grey Young 2 0-0 6, Shelby Wood 3 5-9 11, Jocelyn Harris 1 1-2 3. Totals 16 17-26 55.

Weaver 16 13 18 19 — 66
White Plains 6 13 15 21 — 55

3-point goals: Weaver 7 (Reed 3, Thompson 4); White Plains 6 (Chandler 3, Barno, Young 2). Fouled out: Wood. Total fouls: Weaver 22, White Plains 23. Officials: Burroughs, Kelley, Calkins.

Weaver’s Tayanna Perry (5) moves over to cut off Shelby Wood’s lane to the basket.

To see more pictures from the Weaver-White Plains game, for viewing or purchase, visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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