E.A. Sports Today

Seeing double

Carter twins double the pleasure of Wellborn’s girls basketball in county tournament win over Ohatchee

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Good things come in pairs. They do for the Wellborn girls basketball team.

This game should have been played on June 13 (6/13) as the 13-6 Wellborn Panthers got 13 points and six rebounds each from twin sisters Vanessa and Katessa Carter in coming from behind to beat 14th-seed Ohatchee 44-36 in the second round of the Calhoun County Tournament.

The duo came up big late in the third and early in the fourth quarter with individual nine-point runs to help the Panthers break open up a tight game

Katessa nailed three consecutive 3s late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter to take the Lady Panthers from 24-22 down to ahead for good 31-24. The lead had changed eight times previous to that run.

“That stretch was really big,” said Katessa, who hones her shot in the gym with her sister after church on Sundays. “I just thought about taking my time and throw it up high. Usually I rush my shot, but I wanted to take my time.”

Not to be out done by her sister, Vanessa immediately followed with nine straight Wellborn points as the winners fought off the hot shooting of Ohatchee’s Kourtney Shuler.

“These girls are special,” said Wellborn coach Shanese Morgan. “Katessa is a true point guard and she has really been coming on since coming back from her injury and was making plays all over the place tonight. And Vanessa kept her composure as they were guarding her pretty tight. She really stepped up when we needed it and got us going.

“I’m glad (Katessa) had her time to shine, too. I want it to be where in every game we play they both are shining, they both are a threat on the court. That’s what we’d like to see by the end of the season, both of them shining.”

Wellborn scored the first six points and the last six points of the opening quarter, but in between it was all Ohatchee as the scrappy Lady Indians outscored Wellborn 12-2. Aliyah Thrasher and Itiania Weatherly each knocked home a 3-pointer in the last 20 seconds to give the Panthers a 14-12 first quarter lead.

Weatherly had 11 points and five rebounds for the Panthers.

“Weatherly is a workhorse for us as she just work, work, works on the boards,” said Morgan.

Both teams played intense defense in the second quarter. The Indians held an 18-17 halftime lead and were shutting down the Wellborn running game with a tight 3-2 zone defense that was focused on shutting down the Carter sisters.

Shuler led Ohatchee with 12 points and Maggie Phillips pulled down 12 rebounds.

Wellborn advances on to face Jacksonville on Thursday at 5:30.

Wellborn 44, Ohatchee 36
Ashley Phillips 2 0-1 5, Jazmine Adams 1 0-0 3, Tori Vice 0 0-0 0, Ally McCoy 2 0-1 4, Kourtney Shuler 4 2-4 12, Marli Hanks 0 0-2 0, Maggie Phillips 3 0-1 6, Regan Snow 2 0-2 4, Kacie Cooper 1 0-0 2, Mandy Jennings 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 2-11 36.

WELLBORN (13-6) – Taliyah Kirby 0 0-0 0, Vanessa Carter 4 5-6 13, Naya Lowe 0 1-2 2, Loni Welch 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Raines 0 1-2 1, Katessa Carter 5 0-0 13, Amaya Myles 0 0-0 0, DaNasia Ackles 0 0-0 0, Itiania Weatherly 5 0-4 11, Jayla Lowe 0 0-0 0, Aliyah Thrasher 2 0-0 5, Becca Salter 0 0-0 0, Markeisha Jones 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-14 44.

Ohatchee 12 6 6 12 — 36
Wellborn 14 3 8 9 — 44

3-point goals: Ohatchee 4 (A. Phillips, Adams, Shuler 2); Wellborn 5 (K. Carter 3, Weatherly, Thrasher).

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