E.A. Sports Today

Wellborn on historic track

Lady Panthers take out Jacksonville 50-43; girls bracket included

Wellborn’s Katessa Carter (11) tries to drive past Jacksonville’s Kyra Williams. (Photos by Dave Brandsma)

2017 Calhoun County girls thru quarterfinals – GIRLS BRACKET
(Bracket by Kurt Duryea)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – How long has it been since the Wellborn girls basketball team last won the Calhoun County Tournament?

It has been 21 years, but two players who haven’t even been in school that many combined years has them in a position to get there.

The Lady Panthers moved within two wins of the title Thursday when they it upset third-seeded Jacksonville 50-43.

Wellborn last played for the girls title in 2010, losing to Saks 53-32. The last time the Lady Panthers won it was 1995, when they beat Alexandria 53-50. A win Friday against 10th-seeded Weaver would put them in the finals for the third time in school history.

Sophomore Vanessa Carter picked up her 1,000th career point in the game to put an exclamation point on things. She ended up with a double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tessa Carter added 14 points and ran the offense with the precision of a surgeon.

”We are really excited,” said Wellborn coach Shanese Morgan. “It is the first time in (a while) we have been to the third round. It is so special for Vanessa to get to 1,000 points and just be a sophomore.”

The Lady Golden Eagles were a banged-up bunch with Tavionna McGrath, Sierra Stone and Kayla Broom all out with injuries. They played six players.

“We are just not having much luck with injuries this year,” Jacksonville coach Trez Buzan said. “I just now got one player back, Aniyah Robinson, and still got three out now.”

Jacksonville tried to slow the pace down and was able to hang tough until midway in the fourth quarter when the Lady Panthers scored seven straight points to open up a 44-34 lead.

“We are playing well as a team right now,” Morgan said. “I tell our kids that everyone has an important role no matter what. You have to be ready to go in and step up when it is their time.”

Kyra Williams had 18 points in a valiant effort to lead Jacksonville.

Wellborn 50, Jacksonville 43
Vanessa Carter 8-18 1-2 18, Katessa Carter 5-9 2-2 14, Aliyah Thrasher 2-5 0-0 6, Markeisha Jones 2-5 1-3 5, Itiania Weatherly 2-6 1-4 5, Anaya Lowe 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 20-46 5-11 50.

JACKSONVILLE — Kyra Williams 7-18 2-5 18, Tatiyana Thomas 3-8 3-6 9, Aniyah Robinson 4-12 1-2 9, Essence Hutchinson 2-9 0-0 4, Maddie Hall 1-1 0-0 2, Aniya Jefferson 0-7 1-2 1. Totals 17-55 7-15 43.

Wellborn 16 7 10 17 — 50
Jacksonville 10 8 10 15 — 43

3-point goals: Wellborn 5-13 (V. Carter 1-6, K. Carter 2-2, Thrasher 2-4, Weatherly 0-1); Jacksonville 2-21 (Williams 2-11, Thomas 0-1, Robinson 0-4, Hutchinson 0-5). Rebounds: Wellborn 33 (V. Carter 10); Jacksonville 36 (Jefferson 9, Thomas 9). Total fouls: Weaver 10, Jacksonville 9.

Wellborn’s Itiania Weatherly (15) goes high over Jacksonville’s Aniyah Robinson to get off a shot. (Photo by Dave Brandsma)

To see more Dave Brandsma photos from the Calhoun County Tournament, visit www.camerainnandbikes.com

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