Lady Hornets to play for region title

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Locust Fork’s Kimberly Horton drives for an easy layup.

Locust Fork’s Kimberly Horton drives for an easy layup.

The Locust Fork Lady Hornets are the only Blount County team left standing after the semifinals of the Northeast Regional at Jacksonville State University.

While the Appalachian, Cleveland, and Oneonta girls and the Cleveland boys all bowed out in the first game, Locust Fork got off to a hot start and pulled away from Hokes Bluff for an easy 60-43 victory.

Locust Fork will play Jacksonville today (Wednesday) at 1 p.m. for the region title with a trip to Birmingham and the Final Four on the line.

Thursday, Feb. 12
2A Girls
Section 77, Cleveland 58

Oneonta’s Grace Coefield and Jacksonville’s Sierra Stone eye a rebound.

Oneonta’s Grace Coefield and Jacksonville’s Sierra Stone eye a rebound.

For one quarter it looked like a heavyweight fight. But in the end it was the powerful Lady Lions that landed too many heavy blows.

Cleveland played well on offense throughout the game but simply couldn’t keep up with a Section team that hit 16 shots from behind the arc and scored 24 points off Cleveland’s 22 turnovers.

Section put the game away in the second and third quarters, outscoring Cleveland 29- 13 and 24-16 to build a 70-47 lead after three quarters.

Khalil Johnson drops in a free throw.

Khalil Johnson drops in a free throw.

Cleveland (12-14) got 21 points, nine rebounds, and four assists from Heaven Randolph. Hitzelt Lemus added 15 points and six rebounds. Brooklyn Blackmon had nine points and Christian Fallin had five points and pulled down eight rebounds.

Section (21-6) got 24 points from Keneta Morris, 17 from Kaylea McAllister, and 13 from Autumn Hicks.

2A Boys
Fyffe 45, Cleveland 43

The Panthers didn’t play great basketball but they still had a chance.

Khalil Johnson intentionally missed a free throw with .3 seconds left to play and it looked like Peyton Gilliland’s putback had tied the game. Unfortunately, the rules state that the ball can only be tapped or redirected into the basket and the Panthers lost a tough decision.

Appalachian’s Stephanie Metzler works her way through the Woodville defense.

Appalachian’s Stephanie Metzler works her way through the Woodville defense.

Neither team played great on the offensive end. Cleveland shot just 27 percent for the game and Fyffe hit just 39 percent. The free throw numbers were even worse as Fyffe hit just 8 of 20 and Cleveland managed just 9 of 20.

The Panthers also hit just 4 of 25 from behind the arc in a game where the largest lead for either team was five points.

Cleveland’s Christian Fallin launches a 3- pointer over the Section defense.

Cleveland’s Christian Fallin launches a 3- pointer over the Section defense.

The game was tied 14-14 after the first quarter and Fyffe led 23-22 at the half. The Panthers outscored the Red Devils 11-10 in the third quarter and the game was tied 33- 33 after three quarters.

Cleveland (21-9) got 12 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocked shots from Johnson. Desi Cozad had nine points and Peyton Hazelrig added seven. Peyton Gilliland had six points and 11 rebounds and five steals.

Fyffe (11-14) got 18 points and 13 rebounds from Will Brown while Austin Stiefel had 12 points.

Friday, Feb. 13
1A Girls
Woodville 53, Appalachian 33

Take away the first quarter and the Lady Eagles might have had a shot. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

Woodville, the defending region champion, came out firing. After the first eight minutes, Woodville led 26-8 and the Lady Eagles were in a deep early hole.

Appalachian outscored Woodland 15-12 in the second quarter but still trailed 38-23 at the half.

Appalachian (20-6) got a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds from Stephanie Metzler. Hannah Buzbee added seven points.

Woodville (22-7) put three players in double figures, led by Sara Baugh’s 18 points. Krysta McGinness had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Tiffany Isbell chipped in 13 points.

Saturday, Feb. 14
4A Girls
Jacksonville 68, Oneonta 37

Jacksonville controlled things from the start, leading 16-5 after one quarter.

Oneonta played better basketball in the second quarter and trailed just 27-16 at the half but the third quarter would prove to be the difference.

Jacksonville outscored the Lady Redskins 21-7 in the third quarter, building a 48-23 lead after three quarters and Oneonta was bounced out of the region tournament in the first round.

The Lady Redskins had a rough shooting day (hitting just 35 percent) and were outrebounded 45-25. Jacksonville scored 21 points off Oneonta’s 17 turnovers.

Oneonta (26-6) got a fine performance from senior guard Baylee Gibbs, who scored 18 points and collected five rebounds. No other Redskin had more than Grace Coefield’s six points.

Jacksonville (27-4) put four players in double figures, led by Angel Kidd with 19 points and Virginia Poe with 17. Sophomore center Sierra Stone scored 14 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Locust Fork 60, Hokes Bluff 43

The Lady Hornets made a statement early by drilling their first six 3-point attempts. Hokes Bluff actually hit some shots and scored 15 points in the first period as Locust Fork led 25-15 after the first eight minutes.

The Lady Hornets cooled off after the first quarter and Hokes Bluff cut into the lead on several occasions but it wasn’t nearly enough as Locust Fork rolled to the win.

Hokes Bluff (22-10) got 13 points and 11 rebounds from Sydney Ball and 12 points from Hannah Evans.

Locust Fork (20-11) put three players in double figures, led by Ashlyn Adkins’s 21 points, five steals, and four rebounds. Jaime Gail Hudson had 16 points and eight rebounds and Kimberly Hudson had 15 points.