Lady Warriors take two titles

The Alabama Lady Warriors, with members from Shelby County and the entire state, recently won state titles in the Youth Basketball of America (YBOA) and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

The YBOA championship qualified the team of 14-year-olds for nationals in Polk City, Fla. July 5.

Lady Warriors head coach Greg Williams said his team has worked hard to get where it is.

&uot;We have had a good year and the girls have really poured their hearts into this season,&uot; Williams said. &uot;We have been one of the top three teams in the state of Alabama for the past five years.

&uot;I would like to thank the girls for what I consider a dynamic season winning two state championships and to be able to compete in nationals.&uot;

This year the team won two gold medals in the state. Last year, the Lady Warriors represented Alabama and their local areas in the National AAU Tournament held in Orlando, Fla. where they placed 15th out of 89 teams from around the country.

The team has finished fifth in the nation at the AAU National Invitational Championship in High Point, N.C. and won the gold and silver medals in its division at the Alabama Sports Festival.

In July, 2000 the Lady Warriors played in the AAU National Invitational Championship (NIC) in Fort Myers, Fla. and placed fourth in the country.

The Lady Warriors so far this season have averaged 72 points per game in state competition. The YBOA championship, held May 10-12 in Huntsville, was the first for the 2002 season. The Lady Warriors defeated Bama Storm 72-60 in the championship game.

Two weeks later in Birmingham, the team captured its second AAU championship when it defeated the Alabama Road Runners 72-61.

Every player scored in the championship games, led by Whitney Boddie with 18 points per game.

Calera’s Shanavia Dowdell averaged 15 points per game. Nicole Lowery (Alabaster) and Kristian Diggs each averaged seven, while Tanesha McNeal (Alabaster) chipped in six per game. Blair Bowens and Jenni Thomlay averaged five and LuLu Gardner, Andee Matthews (Chelsea) and Britt Self (Alabaster) each averaged three points.

Tamara Williams of Alabaster missed the championship games due to orthoscopic surgery in March.

Last year friends, family and business owners in the state and county supported the team’s quest to get to the nationals. This season, the team needs an additional $2,000 to help with travel, meals and lodging.

&uot;The team has worked hard to raise the needed funds to reach our goal,&uot; Williams said. &uot;We appreciate any assistance anyone can give us to represent Alabama this year in the YBOA national competition.&uot;

Anyone interested in making donations can contact Williams at 664-0712 or 224-0356 (digital pager)