E.A. Sports Today

Doing their happy dance

Ohatchee girls dance their way into area title game, subregion round with 67-40 win over Hokes Bluff, will play Glencoe Wednesday for area crown

Glencoe 68, Westbrook Christian 40
Ohatchee 67, Hokes Bluff 40
Wednesday’s game
Championship: Glencoe at Ohatchee, 6 p.m.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OHATCHEE – The players had already gone back to the dressing room, ready for the coach’s post-game remarks on the game they had just won.

Then the sound of the band playing their song came blasting through the walls and Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn knew he had lost them.

The Indians came pouring back onto the floor like they were chasing the neighborhood ice cream truck and broke into a spontaneous line dance in front of their bench that will now become their post-season trademark.

“I don’t even know what we call it,” Ginn said as he swept the floor after his team put away Hokes Bluff 67-40 Monday in the Class 3A Area 12 girls tournament semifinals. “We play it at pep rallies all the time and (in) the game, those girls go nuts. If they ever play that, the attention is over. In a timeout if they play that, they’re over there dancing. They don’t even look at me.”

At least they had taken care of their business this time. It was the first time they broke it out after a game.

Officially, they call it “Jig 2” and it burst on the scene in a football-style pep rally for the volleyball team’s regional sendoff in the fall. But that team already had a good luck charm –remember those pink cowboy hats? – so this is the girls basketball team’s answer.

“That is just our jam,” post Alyssa Davis said. “Jig 2 is the statement in our school. We all love it. We love our band. If you catch us at all the home games (and) the pep band’s here, timeouts, quarter change, we are constantly dancing to whatever they play because we know all the dances the cheerleaders know.”

“It’s like our town dance,” guard Kiana Garber said. “Everyone loves it. It’s just something fun we can all do.”

The top-seeded Indians will play Glencoe for the tournament title Wednesday. Glencoe took down third-seeded Westbrook Christian 68-40. Regardless of Wednesday’s outcome, both teams are guaranteed a spot in the subregion round against the two survivors from Area 11 (Piedmont, Saks, Wellborn, Weaver).

The deeper the Indians go in the playoffs, the better the opponents will be and the more they’ll be devising inventive ways to wrap up Jorda Crook.

As that happens, Ginn knows the importance of the other four on the floor stepping up to help out.

Crook had her usual big numbers – 29 points, 11 rebounds, six steals – but Hokes Bluff did its best to bottle her up. While the Eagles were focusing on Crook, Whitney McFry and Garber were hitting from the outside to keep the Indians’ offense moving.

Crook had 14 points in the first quarter and 17 in the first half, but much of it was off putbacks and the times she got in transition and created. McFry and Garber, meanwhile, both had eight points in the first half and finished with 11 and 10, respectively.

“Players have to step up and make plays,” Ginn said. “We’ve been talking about there are going to be nights when there are two or three on Jorda, so who’s going to make the play? We’ve been working some different things in practice to help that, build some confidence, and they started responding to it.”

McFry hit a jumper and Garber hit a 3 before Crook made her first field goal. They hit back-to-back 3s in the middle of the second quarter to give them a 32-14 lead.

“I’m really all about my team and helping out my team, so I’ll do whatever to help my team,” McFry said. “We know teams like to double Jorda so coach Ginn says if your shot is there you’ve got to take it. That’s what we practice for, for Jorda getting doubled down and we doing what we can as a team to score as many points as possible.”

Crook now has 2,961 points for her career and 1,058 this season – the fifth-highest single-season total in state girls history. But with the Indians scoring 67 as a team against the Eagles, it marked just the seventh time this season the rest of the team had more points than Crook in a game. 

HOKES BLUFF – Mary Davenport 0 0-0 0, Chloe Dodd 2 0-0 4, Haylen Marbut 0 0-0 0, Kayla Traylor 10 1-2 22, Dixie Saylor 0 0-0 0, Haley Kate Wellingham 0 0-0 0, Markala Steward 0 0-0 0, Pressley Wall 1 0-0 3, Addison Simmons 0 0-0 0, Emma Doss 2 4-4 8, Ava Dodd 0 0-0 0, Addie Robertson 0 1-2 1, Raya Steward 0 0-0 0, Preslee Blackwell 0 2-2 2. Totals 15 8-10 40.
OHATCHEE – Tabi Davidson 1 4-6 6, Katherina Marsh 0 0-0 0, Bailey Fowler 0 0-0 0, Emily Riddle 0 0-2 0, Whitney McFry 4 1-4 11, Makayla Brackett 0 0-0 0, Mia Waters 0 0-0 0, Greenlee Orman 0 0-0 0, Carly Hall 0 0-0 0, Prisley Davis 0 0-0 0, Kiana Garber 4 0-0 10, Jorda Crook 11 7-14 29, Lindsey Zurchin 1 0-0 3, Alyssa Davis 4 0-0 8. Totals 25 12-26 67.
Hokes Bluff     6          10        15        9          –  40
Ohatchee        22        16        17        12        –  67
3-point goals: Hokes Bluff 2 (Traylor, Wall); Ohatchee 5 (McFry 2, Garber 2, Zurchin). Fouled out: Wellingham. Total fouls: Hokes Blluff 20, Ohatchee 12. Officials: Epperson, Herdaman, Stephens.

GLENCOE 68, WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN 40: The Lady Jackets had a six-point halftime lead and really had to work for it. Coach Blake Badgett told his players to let the game come to them and they flourished in the second half.

They came out and outscored the Warriors 17-4 in the third quarter and 37-15 in the second half.

“We just told them at halftime to make the routine,” Badgett said. “Don’t make the hard shot. We’ve been working on that defense – this was the third time we’ve played them – and just take what they give you. If you move the ball something’s going to come open, let’s just take care of it and make the easy things.”

The Lady Jackets built their early lead through rebounding and converting the turnovers they created. They looked to take the upper hand by pulling away from a tied game with 11 straight points, but Westbrook retied the game at 25 with less than two minutes left in the half before Glencoe pulled away for a 31-25 halftime lead.

The Lady Jackets opened the second half with a 15-2 run and maintained control the rest of the game.

Sophomore Alli Amos had a career game, leading Glencoe with 20 points and nine rebounds. Kinslee Gray had 17 points and Jaxson Sizemore had 11 points and 11 boards.

“(Sizemore) is our point guard and she does a great job,” Badgett said. “That (Westbrook) defense right there puts the onus on everybody else because it gets it out of the point guard’s hand and she’s just good at keeping everybody calm. If things go sour, she’s going to be in the right spot.

“(Gray) is a knockdown shooter when she’s on. If we need it, we can reverse it to her on the back side (and) she’s going to get looks. That was probably (Amos’) game of her career. She’s a sophomore and she finished. She’s got a lot of potential and she showed a little bit of that tonight.”

 Addison Hammontree 0 0-0 0, Bella Millirons 7 1-2 18, Kylee Wyatt 0 0-0 0, Sara Cate Windle 0 1-2 1, Ellison Stewart 1 0-0 3, Chloe Jones 0 0-0 0, Danielle Prime 0 0-0 0, Gracie Hyfield 2 1-2 6, Kathryn Elam 0 0-0 0, Landri Lipscomb 0 0-0 0, McKayla Bean 0 0-0 0, Annabella McCulley 0 0-0 0, Keyara Jones 5 0-0 10, Alyvia Carden 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 3-6 5 40.
GLENCOE (18-9) – Madalyn Amberson 3 3-4 9, Autumn Greene 0 0-0 0, Anna Grace Ponder 2 0-0 4, Sarah Ponder 0 0-0 0, Kinslee Gray 7 0-0 17, Alli Amos 9 2-4 20, Kinlee Montgomery 0 0-0 0, Hailey Hanners 2 2-4 7, Emma Croy 0 0-0 0, Jaxson Sizemore 5 1-1 11, Libby Hufstetler 0 0-0 0, Ella Hipps 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 8-13 68.
Westbrook      12        13        4          11        –  40
Glencoe          22        9          17        20        –  68
3-point goals: Westbrook 5 (Millirons 3, Stewart, Hyfield); Glencoe 4 (Gray 3, Hanners).
Total fouls: Westbrook 11, Glencoe 8. Officials: George, Dobbs, Bailey.

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