E.A. Sports Today

Lady Cubs 3 and easy

Alexandria uses 3-pointer to shoot its way into the Northeast Regional, hits nine of them to down Cleburne County

Eighth-grader Ashley Phillips (1) and senior Allison Bonds (cover) combined to hit seven of Alexandria’s nine 3-pointers against Cleburne County Monday night. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Alexandria Lady Cubs had a three-for-all on their way to the Northeast Regional.

The Lady Cubs hit nine from beyond the arc and with both teams hitting 16 field goals each it was the difference in a 46-36 win over Cleburne County.

Alexandria (20-9) now plays Scottsboro in the Class 5A Northeast Regionals. It will be the Lady Cubs’ first trip since 2007.

“That feels great,” Lady Cubs coach Craig Kiker said. “That’s been on that chalkboard in there since basketball season started. That first goal was to host the area and the second goal was to get to JSU; they accomplished both of those.

“I don’t know how long it’s been since the Alexandria girls have been there, I tried to look, but I know it’s been a long, long time.”

Cleburne County (16-14) hit one 3-pointer — the first basket of the game by Kendall Houston — then it was all Alexandria from beyond the arc.

At one point in the second half the Lady Cubs has more points on 3-pointers than Cleburne County has total points in the game.

Senior Allison Bonds came off the bench to hit four, including two in the third quarter when that’s all the Lady Cubs hit and they took control of the game. Eighth-grader Ashley Phillips hit three. Four of the five Lady Cubs who scored in the game had at least one.

Altogether they were 9-of-33 from behind the arc and 7-of-15 from inside it, with Brie Bradford accounting for five of the conventional baskets. They hit 10 3-pointers in a game against Lincoln 10 days earlier.

“That’s pretty good; we’ll take that,” Kiker said. “That’s not always been my philosophy (to shoot the 3), but I feel like that’s a strength for us sometimes.

“It’s something we work on every day. We shoot a lot more than we used to. … It was a tough night scoring. It’s a good thing we made some 3s.”

The Lady Cubs’ first two baskets of the game were 3-pointers, as was their last one of the first quarter when Bonds banked one in with about a minute left. All four of their buckets in the third quarter were from beyond the arc as they stretched the lead to 13 points going into the fourth.

“We wanted to run them off the line but there were a couple times we just didn’t have good closeouts like we wanted to,” Cleburne County coach Todd Gable said. “We got so caught up with Bradford in the middle sagging and that’s what hurt us. We knew who the shooters were. It was the game plan we worked on. We just lost them in transition sometimes and then we lost them off screens.”

CLASS 5A BOX SCORE

Alexandria 46, Cleburne County 36
CLEBURNE COUNTY (16-14) –
Olivia McDaniel 6 0-0 12, Lacy Littleton 0 0- 0, Chelsea Parker 4 1-2 9, Alex Casey 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn McDaniel 2 1-4 5, Haven Freeman 0 0-2 0, Tatiana Ervin 0 1-2 1, Kendall Houston 4 0-0 9. Totals 16 3-10 36.

ALEXANDRIA (20-9) – Ashley Phillips 4 3-4 14, Destiny Heathcock 0 0-0 0, Kayleigh Steen 1 0-0 3, Kaitlin Harvey 2 0-0 5, Kameron Simpson 0 0-2 0, Brie Bradford 5 2-4 12, Sarah Pelham 0 0-0 0, Allison Bonds 4 0-0 13, Maggie Phillips 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 5-10 46.

Cleburne County 12 6 4 14 — 36
Alexandria 13 10 12 11 — 46

3-point goals: Cleburne County 1 (Houston); Alexandria 9 (A. Phillips 3, Steen, Harvey, Bonds 4). Total fouls: Cleburne County 12, Alexandria 10.

While Alexandria did most of its damage from the outside, Brie Bradford (14) kept Cleburne County occupied inside the paint. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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

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