Central ends Lady Rebs’ run

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

Coosa Valley’s over achieving season came to an end Thursday with a fourth-quarter push from Central Christian in the AISA Elite Eight, as the Lady Rebels fell, 54-46, at Faulkner University.

CVA played neck-and-neck with the Lady Warriors through the first half, sitting tied at 12 after the opening quarter and taking a 23-21 lead into halftime. Sophomore Jordan Smilley came alive in the third quarter to score nine points, distancing the Rebels from CCA with a seven-point lead, 36-29, after three quarters. But Central was not ready to fold.

“They just took over the ball game and broke our press,” CVA head coach Kimbo Rutledge said. “I really should have got back out of the press, but I really felt like that’s why we were there, because we had been pressing.”

Tiffany Brown and Kara Rawls combined for 23 points in the fourth quarter for Central, while CVA struggled from the free throw line, hitting 2-of-8 attempts. Smiley finished with 15 points, while first-year basketball player Cortney Davis, a senior, followed with 14 points. Lauren Archer had 10 for CVA.

Rutledge said he is mainly proud that his team was even in the tournament. After starting the season 6-10, CVA won 10 of its last 13 games to appear in the Elite Eight.

“I think they just finally got it and got some confidence,” Rutledge said. “I never thought we’d beat some of the teams that we beat.”

Central (18-9) will face either Sparta or Abbeville Christian in the AISA 1A semifinal at Huntingdon College on Feb. 18.