Late run lifts Spain Park past Gadsden City

Spain Park's Victoria Baldwin drives the lane in the Lady Jags' 49-43 win over Gadsden City in the MLK Shootout at Samford University's Pete Hanna Center Jan. 21. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

BIRMINGHAM – The Spain Park Lady Jags went on a late run to defeat Gadsden City 49-43 in the first game of the MLK Shootout at Samford University’s Pete Hanna Center Jan. 21.

Spain Park (17-7) led by one at the half, but Gadsden City (17-5) went on a 9-1 run to take a 32-25 lead midway through the third quarter. The Lady Jags answered with an 8-2 run in the last two minutes of the quarter, but trailed 34-33 headed into fourth.

Gadsden City extended its lead to 37-33 early in the fourth before Spain Park’s Victoria Baldwin led the Lady Jags back to take the lead. Baldwin went on a 7-0 run capped by a pair of 3-pointers to give the Lady Jags a 40-37 lead with under four minutes remaining in the game.

The lead exchanged hands twice in the next two minutes before Spain Park closed the game on a 9-2 run in the last two minutes to claim the 49-43 victory.

Baldwin finished the game with a game-high 26 points, including four three’s and a 10-for-13 performance from the free throw line. Ashley Gaston added 11 points with three 3-pointers.

Takara Blount led Gadsden City with 15 points while Dajia Williams scored 11 points with 17 rebounds.