Kingwood hoping to be state surprise

Take Kingwood Christian’s No. 8 ranking in the AISA and throw it away. That’s what head coach Jeff Gillespie is doing this week as his team prepares to load its slingshot for what he calls a David and Goliath match up in the Class 3A state tournament.

The Lions (14-4) meet Lee-Scott in the first game 11:30 a.m. Friday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery and will see 3A powerhouse Tuscaloosa Academy or Hooper Academy in the second round with a win. TA gave the Lions two of their loses, 6-0 and 2-1.

“I believe it’s going to be hard to beat us three times. I like our chances,” Gillespie said. “Two or three times this year, we’ve gotten behind two good teams, Hooper Academy and TA, but the one thing about this bunch is they will scrap. They won’t lay down. They play as a team.”

While confidence is high, Gillespie likes to think of his team as the underdog.

“We’ve been an underdog all year, and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. We’re backed in the corner, and we’re going to come out swinging,” Gillespie said. “Hopefully, we’re going to go in with a chip on our shoulder and scare some people.”

One of the Lions’ top weapons is eighth-grade pitcher Whitney Gillespie, who posted a 9-2 record on varsity and 11-1 record on junior varsity this season. She’s also hitting over .500 for the year with a home run.

Two other top bats, both hitting over .400, are freshman Karley Chamblee and eighth-grader Kaylyn Ingram, who has two home runs and is 5-2 as a pitcher.

CLASS 3A PAIRINGS

FRIDAY

Game 1 – Glenwood vs. Prattville Christian, 10 a.m.

Game 2 – Clarke Prep vs. Macon-East, 10 a.m.

Game 3 – Tuscaloosa vs. Hooper, 11:30 a.m.

Game 4 – Lee-Scott vs. Kingwood, 11:30 a.m.

Game 5 – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 1 p.m.

Game 6 – Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – 1 p.m.

Game 7 – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 3 p.m.

Game 8 – Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 3 p.m.

Game 9 – Loser of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 5 – 5 p.m.

Game 10 – Loser of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 6 – 5 p.m.

SATURDAY

Game 11 – Winner of Game 7 vs. Winner of Game 8 – 10 a.m.

Game 12 – Winner of Game 9 vs. Winner of Game 10 – 10 a.m.

Game 13 – Loser of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 12 – noon

Championship – Winner of Game 11 vs. Winner of Game 13 – 2 p.m.