Area 7 champs MHS Lady ‘Dogs claim Area 7 title

Special to the Reporter

Alicia Brown picked up a loose ball and nailed a 12-foot jumper with one second remaining to give Montevallo a 42-40 victory over Bibb County, completing a perfect 6-0 sweep of Area 7 play.

The win not only secures the regular season championship for the Lady Bulldogs, but gives MHS the home court advantage for the area tournament.

The game was a defensive battle for the first three quarters, with Montevallo leading 19-15 at the half and 27-23 at the end of three quarters. The Lady Choctaws, however, staged a furious rally in the fourth and completed a miraculous four-point play that almost sent the game into overtime.

With just 10 seconds remaining in the game, BCHS guard Charity Cottingham drained a desperation three pointer and was fouled on the shot. After a time out, she canned the free throw to knot the score at 40-40.

When Montevallo’s halfcourt pass was batted away, the contest seemed destined for the extra period. After both teams fumbled away opportunities to pick up the loose ball, Brown found the ball at her feet just inside the free throw line and tossed it in for the game-winner.

Unlike the meeting between the two teams earlier in the season, in which Montevallo took a 57-38 victory, the Lady Bulldogs struggled to control the pace of the game. Bibb County out-rebounded MHS 46-38 and forced Montevallo into 20 turnovers.

The Lady ‘Dog defense was stifling, however, allowing Bibb to hit just 14-of-60 shots from the floor.

Kinyatta Hayes led the Lady Bulldogs with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Santana Smith added 10 points, nine boards, and four assists.

Cottingham’s 17 points paced Bibb County.

The Area 7 tournament gets under way Friday night at Montevallo’s Susie DeMent Gymnasium, with Bibb County taking on Holt at 6 p.m. and MHS squaring off with Dallas County at 7:30 p.m.

The finals will take place at MHS on Monday night at 7 p.m. p.m