Clean sweep Oak Mountain boys, girls win county tournament

The third time was the charm for the Oak Mountain boys, as the Eagles defeated Calera in the boys championship of the Shelby County basketball tournament last Saturday night at Pelham High School.

It was the third time in four years the Eagles (14-7) reached the finals, finishing runners-up the two previous times.

The Oak Mountain girls also won the girls bracket, giving OMHS a clean sweep at the 2003 event.

OMHS boys head coach Jerry North said he was pleased with almost every aspect of the way the Eagles performed in the tournament.

&uot;I was extremely pleased with the way we played,&uot; North said. &uot;We played well for the most part, except for leaking a little oil toward the end of the Calera game. We had a good lead and we let it slip away a little.

&uot;Our defensive effort and intensity were really good and we shot the ball well, especially against Calera. We hit our free throws the entire tournament, which helped us, but which is something we have not done well so far this season until that point.&uot;

As for the OMHS girls (12-10), head coach Toni Leo said the tournament could have been a turning point for her team.

&uot;We came into the tournament 9-10, so we reached and passed the .500 mark with the win,&uot; Leo said. &uot;It was a real turning point for our team. We just began to play in 6A, and the competition is pretty stiff. But we are getting better, and now we believe we can compete at this level.

Leo said the performance of her players in the tournament was a testament to their dedication.

&uot;The girls really stepped up and rose to the occasion,&uot; Leo said. &uot;We played a great tournament from the beginning. We were more focused and determined than we have been all year.&uot;

The third-seeded OMHS girls defeated sixth-seeded Shelby County 64-52 in their first game Thursday afternoon. Tera Moore and Lane Wilkerson paced the Lady Eagles with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Spiker added 9 while Anna Cramer chipped in 8 points in the win.

For SCHS, Brittney Battle led the way with 19 points and 8 assists and Tracy Warren scored 18 points &045; all three-pointers.

In the semi-finals, the Lady Eagles defeated Thompson 59-50. THS reached the finals with a win over Vincent Wednesday afternoon.

Oak Mountain was led by Ashley Clouser, tournament Most Valuable Player, with 17 points. Anna Cramer added 14 points in the win while Megan Anderson scored 9 points for the Lady Eagles.

For Thompson, Joi Watts and Tamara Williams each scored 15 points, and Tanesa McNeal chipped in 10 points in the loss.

In the tournament finals, Oak Mountain was led by Clouser with 22 points and Cramer with 13 points. Spiker chipped in 6 points in the championship game.

Pelham was paced by Michelle Daughtery with 21 points. Chandesha Billings scored 10 points in the loss and Dekita Johnson chipped in 9 points.

Pelham reached the finals with wins over Montevallo and Calera.

In other girls action, Vincent defeated Chelsea in the first round last Tuesday and Pelham defeated Montevallo 43-21 on Wednesday night.

The Lady Panthers raced out to a 26-17 lead, then held Montevallo to just four second half points to seal the victory.

Pelham benefited from 30 MHS turnovers and out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs on both ends of the floor.

Jennifer Weems led PHS with 13 points, while Chandesha Billings chipped in 11.

While no Lady Bulldogs reached double figures, Kinyatta Hayes led MHS with 7 points and Samantha Spradlin contributed six.

The Calera girls lost their first game of the season to Pelham in the semi-finals.

Calera defeated the Briarwood Lady Lions 54-48 in its first game of the tournament Thursday afternoon.

Shanavia Dowdell had a career day for the Lady Eagles with 32 points, 22 rebounds and 5 blocked shots in the win. Marie Burns chipped in 6 points for the Lady Eagles in the win.

In the loss to Pelham, Dowdell was the leading scorer for the Lady Eagles with 18 points. The freshman also grabbed 8 rebounds in the loss. Laquarius Wilson added 7 points for the Lady Eagles in the loss.

Tournament Most Valuable Player for the boys was OMHS’ Donald McMahon. Brian Adams and Adam Luquire also made the team from OMHS, along with George Drake and Jones of Calera, Kenney Mahone of Thompson, Charles Hoke of Briarwood, Anthony Purnell of Montevallo and Dre Davis and Eric Agee of SCHS.

Tournament MVP for the girls was Ashley Clouser of OMHS. Anna Cramer also made the all-tournament team from Oak Mountain along with Tamara Williams of THS, Michelle Daughtery of PHS, Shanavia Dowdell of Calera and Jana Rodgers of VHS.

Editor’s note: Game stats were not provided by Pelham boys and girls, Chelsea boys and girls, Thompson boys, Vincent girls, Oak Mountain boys, Calera boys, Briarwood boys and Shelby County girls as of presstime