E.A. Sports Today

Smashing milestones

Lady Bearcats celebrate Beck, Cortez going over 1,000 career points after routing Ohatchee in area tournament

Weaver’s Caleigh Cortez (L) and Rayne Beck display their matching 1,000-point basketballs after the Lady Bearcats defeated Ohatchee in the area tournament Wednesday night. (Cover photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Many a high school basketball team can go through several classes before boasting of a 1,000-point scorer in its program. Weaver girls coach Gary Atchley has the luxury of having two – and could have had three – on the same team.

The Lady Bearcats easily advanced to the finals of Class 3A Area 9 tournament and a spot in the subregionals with a 63-36 win over Ohatchee Wednesday at Wellborn High School.

When it was over, Weaver recognized the 1,000-point careers of senior Rayne Beck and junior Caleigh Cortez with commemorative basketballs touting the feat. .

Beck, who has been playing with the varsity since eighth grade, went over the milestone during the Lady Bearcats’ big non-area win over Alexandria and went over 1,100 points Wednesday night. Cortez, who started playing with the varsity as a ninth grader, passed the mark in their previous win over Ohatchee.

Beck had 12 points against the Lady Indians and now has 1,107 for her career. Cortez had 16 Wednesday night and now has 1,087 points for her career.

“I didn’t even know what 1,000 points was when I started; I had no clue,” Beck said. “Lucky my coach actually decided to keep up with it when we were younger. Glad he saw that potential in us.”

Cortez made 1,000 points a personal goal after watching Wellborn’s Vanessa Carter passed the milestone at last year’s Calhoun County Tournament. She now has her sights set on 1,500 – or more.

“I saw she got the thousand points in her junior year and I said I was going to get it my junior year, a thousand,” Cortez said. “It’s like I’m going to do this, this is my goal, what I set for myself – and I did it.”

The Lady Bearcats certainly would have had a third in the club, but Mariah Thompson suffered a season-ending knee injury in December with 907 career points.

“I think it’s a testament of these girls believing in the process and the process is good,” Atchley said. “When I had them four years ago we used to get the crap beat out of us. Everybody wanted to play us. And now going through and practicing the way we practice it’s getting better.

“I’ve had this group a long time. We’ve brought this program a long way I think, all of us together. We’ve endured it all together.”

Weaver (15-15) used two big runs to put this one away. Tori Vice hit a 3-pointer to get Ohatchee (7-21) within four, then Weaver ripped off a 17-0 run that carried into early in the third quarter. Kourtney Shuler stopped the run with two free throws with 5:32 left in the third, then the Lady Bearcats went on a 21-2 run to the end of the quarter.

The Lady Bearcats their defensive focus on Shuler and when the senior went out it allowed the Lady Bearcats to turn up their press and fueled the big run. Vice became the Lady Indians’ only weapon and she scored 23 points.

This story will be updated later.


Weaver 63, Ohatchee 36
OHATCHEE (7-21) –
Gracyn Snow 1 0-0 2, Jazmine Adams 0 0-0 0, Tori Vice 10 2-10 23, Kourtney Shuler 0 4-4 4, Marli Hanks 0 0-0 0, Gracie George 2 0-0 4, Millie Rainwater 1 0-0 2, Reagan Snow 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 7-16 36.

WEAVER (15-15) – Caleigh Cortez 5 6-11 16, Rayne Beck 5 2-4 12, Emily Reed 5 0-0 11, Anna Howell 0 0-0 0, Abby Gaines 4 0-0 9, Amira Carter 4 0-0 8, Kaise Hubbard 2 1-3 5, Kayleigh Hindsman 0 0-0 0, Trinity Pullium 0 2-6 2, Rylee Jordan 0 0-2 0, McKenna Flynn 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 11-26 63.

Ohatchee 9 5 4 18 — 36
Weaver 11 21 24 7 — 63

3-point goals: Ohatchee 1 (Vice); Weaver 2 (Reed, Gaines). Fouled out: Adams. Total fouls: Ohatchee 23, Weaver 14. Officials: Miller, Hall, Poss.

To view a photo gallery from the Weaver-Ohatchee game, visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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