E.A. Sports Today

Glencoe girls advance

Freshman Giles scores five points in the final 1:18 as the Lady Jackets rally from an early deficit to end Pleasant Valley’s season

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT — it was the kind of game you’d expect between two teams playing for their post-season lives. It was tight. It was intense. And in the end Glencoe played a defense of biblical proportions over the last three quarters and lived to play another day.

Freshman Anna Beth Giles scored five points in the final 1:18 and the Lady Jackets rallied from an early deficit by smothering Pleasant Valley with end-to-end defense over the final three quarters to win 43-38 in the Class 3A Area 10 tournament at Piedmont.

Glencoe (15-13) now plays host Piedmont for the area title Thursday at 7 p.m., guaranteed a spot in the sub-regional against someone from Area 9 (Weaver, Wellborn, Ohatchee).

The game was played with the intensity of two teams playing for their playoff lives. In a three-team area, which ended up in a three-way tie decided by a coin flip, some good team was not going to advance.

Pleasant Valley (12-15) jumped out to an early 12-2 lead as the Lady Jackets couldn’t hit from the floor and the Lady Raiders rebounded everything in sight. Then the Lady Jackets played like “the third monkey trying to get on Noah’s ark,” as coach Daniel Cook likes to say, and came roaring back.

They scored the last six points of the second quarter to trail only 20-17 at halftime. It was the front part of a larger 14-0 run that carried into the third quarter and gave them the lead.

“We just took their biggest punch and we just kept fighting, fighting, fighting,” Cook said. “Even though we’re young, I think they just showed their resiliency and the fight we’ve got in our girls. As the game got going we got into the flow. I was just happy to see what my girls were able to do once we got past that first punch.”

Glencoe eventually opened a five-point lead midway through the third quarter and a six-point lead early in the fourth, but each time the Lady Raiders rallied and tied it on a 3-pointer by Mac Parris.

Pleasant Valley enjoyed its last lead at 38-35. Giles hit a 3-pointer with 1:18 left to give Glencoe the lead for good, 40-38. She extended the lead to 42-38 with two free throws with 5.1 seconds left after the Lady Raiders missed a long potential go-ahead 3-pointer.

Glencoe’s go-ahead 3 was the result of good execution against PV’s defensive set, but it almost didn’t happen.

“I didn’t know whether to shoot it at first, I was nervous,” Giles said. “But I was really excited when it went in.”

Junior Kenleigh Harper stole the inbounds pass after Giles’ free throws and was fouled with less than a second remaining. She made one of her two shots for the final margin.

“Everything they did, I knew they were going to do it; everything we did, they knew we were going to do,” PV coach Brad Hood said. “It was just who would make more plays. Give them credit, their defensive pressure for four quarters from baseline-to-baseline did the trick.”

Class 3A Area 10
Glencoe 43, Pleasant Valley 38
Lindsey Pritchett 2 1-2 5, Mak Parris 3 0-0 9, Atleigh Brannon 4 0-0 9, Emma Hood 0 0-0 0, Mikala Simpson 3 5-7 11, Courtney Upton 0 0-0 0, Kara Perry 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 6-9 38.

GLENCOE (15-13) – A.G. Goodwin 0 1-2 1, Anna Beth Giles 4 2-2 11, Abby Vice 1 0-1 2, Morgan Ashley 5 2-4 12, Kenleigh Harper 0 1-2 1, Lauren Cole 3 0-0 6, Breia Little 2 3-3 7, Lauren Moore 0 0-0 0, Skylar Thompson 0 0-0 0, Cami Zahorscak 1 0-0 3. Totals 16 9-14 42.

Pleasant Valley 12 8 7 11 — 38
Glencoe 2 15 12 14 — 43

3-point goals: PV 4 (Parris 3, Brannon); Glencoe 2 (Giles, Zahorscak). Total fouls: PV 14, Glencoe 11. Officials: Paige, Hardnett, Graves.

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