AHSAA playoffs: Lions ready to battle

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Briarwood Lady Lions continue their playoff run today in the AHSAA Class 5A Southeast Regional tournament at Troy University.

BCS will face Charles Henderson High School at noon in the regional semifinal game.

Briarwood comes into today&8217;s contest on a seven-game win streak, with their last loss coming against Talladega on Jan. 24. The Lions defeated Talladega last week in the Class 5A, Area 8 championship game last week.

The Lions defeated Stanhope-Elmore 54-37 in last week&8217;s sub-regional tournament in a game that head coach Jim Brown said went according to plan.

&8220;I thought we played very well in that game,&8221; Brown said. &8220;We were very solid.&8221;

The Lions leading scorer, senior Ruth Ketcham, saw little playing time in the matchup after twisting her ankle.

&8220;Dandi Ammons and Andee Matthews played well,&8221; he said. &8220;It was great that we were able to get scoring from other places.&8221;

Ammons led the team in scoring during her freshman season while Matthews led the following next two years &8212; making them valuable weapons against Henderson.

&8220;We have several kids who are capable of scoring a lot of points for us,&8221; Brown said. &8220;We&8217;re definitely not locked into one person having to do all the scoring.&8221;

Brown said his team will have to contend against an athletic Henderson offense today.

&8220;I think we match up well size-wise against them,&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;re going to have to play very good defense and rebound well.&8221;

The Lady Lions&8217; coach said he hopes Sarah Byers will continue her strong play on the boards.

&8220;Sarah had 10 rebounds for us against Talladega and 15 rebounds in the game before that,&8221; he said. &8220;She should play a big factor for us in this game.&8221;

Brown said his team is not concerned about the fact that Henderson is located in Troy, making the game more like an away game for his squad.

&8220;We played well against Talladega on the road and won,&8221; he said. &8220;This game will be in a big arena and I believe that any noise is good noise.&8221;

With a victory today, the Lady Lions would face the winner of the Eufaula vs. Talladega game on Friday for a chance at a Class 5A Final Four appearance in Birmingham.

&8220;Our players are very excited,&8221; Brown said. &8220;This group of seniors only had 10 wins its ninth-grade year, and they&8217;ve gotten a lot better since then. This is an opportunity they&8217;ve been looking forward to.&8221;