Briarwood and four others fall short in sub-region

Published 11:18 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

Frustration set in late for Briarwood, as the Lions cut a 14-point deficit to nine, but couldn’t get over the hump, falling to Carver-Montgomery at home, 72-56, Thursday.

“We were playing hard, we just weren’t making up any ground,” Briarwood head coach Jim Brown said. “We’d get them to miss a free throw and we’d have trouble scoring on the other end, and then they’d hit free throws and we’d score. It just stayed around that 10-12 point mark.”

Carver improved on its free throw shooting late in the game, as Alondra Gray hit 6-of-8 from the line in the final two minutes to seal the win.

Briarwood hung close with Carver in the first quarter, trailing 15-12 after eight minutes, but the Lions were unable to stop and shoot over post player Shatavia Farris.

“We just couldn’t keep her off the boards,” Brown said. “The two areas we were really concerned about were turnovers and offensive rebounds and both of those proved to be brutal.”

Farris finished the game with 33 points after scoring 18 in the first half.

Becca Stephens led Briarwood with 19 points, while Julia Hoke had 12 points. Senior Amy Hale had eight points, while point guard Lauren Parks closed her career with a seven-point game. Parks’ only field goal was a 3-pointer to cut the game to nine points, 61-52, with two minutes to play.

The Lions finish the season at 21-6, becoming just the second team to reach 20 wins since Briarwood moved to Class 5A. The last team to win 20 was the 2005-06 team that went 24-6.

In other sub-region games:

Vestavia 55, Pelham 54: Pelham’s Katelyn Speights gave the Panthers a 54-53 lead with 10 seconds to play after hitting a pair of free throws, but Vestavia pulled off the win at home with a last-second basket by Sharon Sanders to earn a spot in the Northeast Regional. Speights led Pelham (16-8) with 19 points in the game, while Lindsey Young had 12 points. Jennifer Bragg led Vestavia with 15 points. Sanders had two.

Selma 66, Chelsea 37: A rare 4-point play by Keisha Moore helped give Selma a 14-8 lead in the first quarter, and after an 8-0 run opened the second quarter, the Saints held a 24-12 lead over Chelsea. The Hornets never regrouped, trailing 37-22 at halftime, and watching run after run by the Selma offense.

“They hit shots, we didn’t,” said Chelsea head coach Wayne Trucks. “It doesn’t get any simpler than that.”

Selma closed the third quarter with a 13-2 run to take a 52-28 lead into the final frame.

Ashley Grimes led the Saints (27-5) with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Moore added 12 and Kamesha Strong finished with nine.

Rebecca Simpson led the Hornets (12-17) with 11 points.

Southside-Selma 64, Calera 37: Southside-Selma blew past Calera (8-13) in the Class 4A Central Sub-Regional with the help of 16 points from Shaniqua Williams and 13 points from Regina Bartholomew. Takari Nelson and Africa Tyler each had 11 points. Keona Davis led Calera with 19 points and Bianca Norris had seven.

“Even though it’s been a struggle, the girls I’ve had this year have been great girls,” Calera head coach James Knowles said. “We’ve got a few young players coming back and we had a pretty good junior varsity this year, so things are looking up.”

Woodland 66, Vincent 33: Woodland jumped out to a 21-2 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as the Bobcats advanced to the Class 2A Northeast Regional. Courtney Strain led Woodland with 32 points, while Leah Strain added 12 points and Madison Sparks had eight. Vincent ended its season with a 3-16 record.

Selma-Times Journal sports editor Barrett Welch contributed to this report.