Coosa Valley girls advance to Final Four

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Coosa Valley Academy girls’ basketball team defeated South Montgomery County Academy 54-15 in the Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A Elite Eight on the Faulkner University campus Feb. 10 in Montgomery.

The Rebels advanced to the AISA Class 1A Final Four, where they will meet Ashford Academy in the semifinals Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. on the Huntingdon College campus in Montgomery.

Amelia Ripley led the Rebels (18-2) with 15 points, all of which came on five 3-pointers in the opening half.

Lauren Archer added 11 points. Kaylan Rich contributed 10 points and a team-high 14 rebounds.

Jordan Smiley chipped in nine points and 13 rebounds.

Coosa Valley started the contest with an 11-0 run and jumped out to a 19-2 lead after the first quarter. The Rebels extended their lead to 35-11 at halftime.

Coosa Valley coach Kimbo Rutledge praised Smiley for keeping the team focused in the AISA Class 1A quarterfinal contest.

“Jordan has been the rock,” Rutledge said. “She’s a senior and this is her last trip. She wants to win this thing.”

Rutledge said the Rebels are playing their best basketball heading into the Final Four.

“We feel this is this best chance we’ve had (to win a championship),” Rutledge said. “I believe we’re the best team in the tournament. That’s the way we need to play.”