Coosa Valley and Kingwood win area titles

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Coosa Valley Academy and Kingwood Christian School each captured area tournament championships over the weekend to send them to the Alabama Independent Schools Association state tournament in Montgomery.

Kim Rutledge led Coosa Valley with 41 points and 26 rebounds for the two tournament games, as the Lady Rebels defeated Shelby Academy 38-32 on Friday and Warrior 31-27 on Saturday.

&8220;We decided after losing twice [to Warrior], that we were going to slow it down and wait for the shot we wanted,&8221; said CVA head coach Kimbo Rutledge of countering Warrior&8217;s fast approach.

The Lady Rebels will meet Warrior again on Thursday in the first quarterfinals of the state tournament. The match up will be the third in two weeks between the two teams.

&8220;[The girls] want to win it,&8221; Rutledge said about the state title. &8220;It&8217;s going to take them not getting too excited and being patient for us to get past Warrior.&8221;

In Class 2A, Hannah Phillips hit a 3-point basket at the buzzer to send Friday&8217;s game with Springwood to overtime and keep the Kingwood Lady Lions&8217; post season hopes alive. She finished with 22 points, as the Lady Lions out scored Springwood 15-2 in overtime to win 60-37.

Kingwood went on to defeat Lakeside on Saturday, 68-55.

One of the main keys to victory for Coach Jerry Stearns and the Lady Lions is the hot hand of Kaitlyn Rozof, who was 10-of-15 from 3-point range in the two games off the bench.

&8220;She’s a very hot shooting young lady right now,&8221; Stearns said. &8220;She’s really considered a starter but she’d rather come in off the bench. As the season went on, she started getting her touch back and lately has been on a tear.&8221;

The Lady Lions meet Jackson Academy for the first time this season Friday in the quarterfinals.

&8220;Two-A this year is as tough as it&8217;s ever been and there are a lot of good teams in the tournament,&8221; Stearns said.

Though the competition is tough, Stearns hopes the team&8217;s experience will pay off, having finished as runner-up two of the last three seasons.

&8220;We know what it takes, and experience goes a long way in big ball games and big tournaments