Montevallo girls win area

It wasn’t pretty, but the Montevallo Bulldogs won the Class 3A, Area 5 championship Saturday with a 64-50 win over Montgomery Academy.

The physically intense game featured 56 fouls and a total of 76 free throws.

“I’m just glad we showed we were mentally tough,” said Montevallo head coach Tena Niven. “Both of these were really good teams, and it was a very good game.”

Niven said her bench proved the difference when several key players got into foul trouble.

“We had five players with four fouls,” Niven said. “Luckily, we had some older ones step in and buy us time.”

Montevallo shot 26-of-42 from the foul line, while the Eagles were 18-of-34.

Alicia Gentry lead the Bulldogs with 21 points and 5 steals. Shanse Hudson scored 13 points, while Amber Cardwell earned a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Montevallo scored first and often, jumping out to a 16-6 lead halfway through the first period. The Eagles closed the gap to three points with 2:30 to go in the first half, but that was as close as the game would get.

Gentry was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Desiree Jones, Sequoia Peeples and Rachel Willingham also made the all-area team.

Montevallo improves to 29-1 on the season and looks poised for a deep post-season run. The team’s only loss came in the season opener against Oak Mountain, 53-51.

“I think this is the best team I’ve coached top to bottom,” Niven said.