E.A. Sports Today

Donoho ducks drama

Lady Falcons jump on Faith early, cruise to big area win, secure No. 3 seed in upcoming area tournament

Donoho’s Savannah Frickey (11) converges on a loose ball with Faith Christian’s Emily Sills. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Melissa Smyly was never so anxious about a game in her coaching career.

There were just so many elements to Donoho’s girls game Friday at Faith Christian, not the least of which was the chance for a favorable seed in the upcoming area tournament and avoid a coin toss to break a tie.

Plus it was against an area rival on its Senior Night.

The Lady Falcons survived all that drama and secured the No. 3 seed for the Class 1A Area 10 tournament with a 47-18 victory.

By winning the game they avoided a coin toss with Sacred Heart that if the wrong side came up could have dropped them to the 4, to play Faith in the opening round for the right to meet top-seeded defending state champion Spring Garden.

Now they will meet No. 2 JCA with the winner earning a spot in the subregional regardless how it does in the tournament finals. The Lady Falcons and JCA split two four-point games during the regular season.

“I told (her brother and Donoho boys coach Alex Mastin) I’ve been anxious all day because you can only take them so far and prepare them,” Smyly said. “In the car today I told my husband I have a stomach ache and he said why. I said I showed them all what to do I just can’t control them doing that and he said that’s what coaching is.

“You always feel anxious. It’s a trickle down thing. It’s an area rival, a regular-season important game, and I told the girls if you were Faith and you knew beating us affected us in the area you’d want to go out there and do everything you could to beat us regardless of how it affects them.”

The Lady Falcons (11-9, 4-4) took all that out of the picture early. They wanted to make sure their tandem bigs were a factor and Lauren Holbrook dominated on the inside early scoring all 10 of her points in the first half as Donoho opened a 25-8 lead.

Smyly said Holbrook and Constance Hodges “ran the show.”

“It was super important because if we won today we were going to be third in the area so we only have to beat JCA to advance to the subregion; that would be amazing,” Holbrook said. “I knew how important it was. It’s my senior year and I definitely want to have a great season.”

Hodges then led the offense in the second half with nine of her game-high 13 points. Jenna Stremmel and Savannah Frickey each scored five in the third quarter.

“We wanted to get them early so we wouldn’t feel rushed,” Hodges said. “This was a tough team for us last year, so it just felt good to finally beat them.”

The biggest roar of the night came at the buzzer when Donoho freshman Virginia Hutto hit a 3-pointer right before the horn.

Donoho 47, Faith Christian 18
Virginia Hutto 1 0-0 3, Campbell Hagan 2 0-0 4, Emma Wiedner 0 0-0 0, Samantha Strunk 0 0-0 0, Savannah Frickey 3 0-0 7, Regan Phillis 0 0-0 0, Meghana Giri 0 0-0 0, Constance Hodges 6 0-2 13, Jenna Stremmel 4 1-2 10, Lauren Holbrook 5 0-0 10. Totals 21 1-4 47.

FAITH CHRISTIAN – Logan Boyd 1 2-2 4, Emily Sills 0 0-0 0, Shelley Phillips 0 0-0 0, Kristin Covington 1 3-4 5, Sydnee Johnson 4 0-0 9, C.J. Setters 0 0-0 0, Regan Crosby 0 0-0 0, Sarah McVeigh 0 0-0 0. Totals 6 5-6 18.

Donoho 12 13 14 8 — 47
Faith Christian 4 4 4 6 — 18

Donoho 4 (Hutto, Frickey, Hodges, Stremmel); Faith 1 (Johnson). Total fouls: Donoho 6, Faith 4.

Lauren Holbrook (40) was a force inside for Donoho early in its win over Faith Christian. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

To see more of B.J. Franklin’s photos from the Donoho-Faith game visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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