Thorsby girls win area championship
By Stephen Dawkins
Thorsby’s girls on Saturday used clutch play late to overcome a sluggish start and defeat Shades Mountain Christian, 33-28, in the championship game of the Class 2A, Area 9 basketball tournament.
The win gives Thorsby the right to host Ohatchee in a regional game beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Thorsby, hosting the tournament because it went unbeaten in area play during the regular season, failed to score in the first period but held its visitors to only two points in the second period.
“I think we may have been pressing a little bit,” Thorsby coach Ab Argent said. “Our girls weren’t in any kind of rhythm.
“Give them credit, now, I think we got their best shot. We showed some heart there coming back.”
The score was 9-0 Shades after one period but 13-11 Thorsby at halftime and was close the rest of the way.
Shades Mountain retook the lead on a Hannah Wainwright jump shot with 4:26 remaining in the final period, but Thorsby responded and led by as many as five points late in the fourth period, on a free throw by Sharonda Cooper.
Thorsby (21-1) would still need three crucial rebounds and two even more important free throws—all in the last 12 seconds—by Nicole Barrett to seal the win.
Shades Mountain (14-14) had the basketball down 31-28 with 9.7 seconds remaining, but a 3-pointer was missed and Barrett eventually grabbed the loose ball.
Barrett, who didn’t play last year and comes off the bench this year, also rebounded a missed Thorsby free throw with 1.6 seconds left, was fouled and then made both shots from the charity stripe to put the game away.
“The thing is, I tell them all the time, ‘There’s going to come a point where somebody has got to step up and help this team,’” Argent said. “I always tell them, ‘You don’t know who it’s going to be.’”
Amanda Hubbard—who was named to the all-tournament team along with teammates Johnna Doody, Ashlin Hilyer and tournament Most Valuable Player Sharonda Cooper—was Thorsby’s leading scorer with 11 points.
Cooper scored nine points.
Wainwright led Shades Mountain with eight points.
Now, the Rebels are preparing for Ohatchee, who has won more than 20 games this season.
The Indians rely on the inside-out combination of post player and 6-footer Laneshia Anderson and guard Jasmine Crook, who is the defending Class 2A state champion in the 200 Meters.