Calera girls top Montevallo at home

Montevallo's Natalie Holsomback drives in for a shot while Calera's Kalen Starks attempts to block in a Jan. 7 matchup. (Contributed/Amy Pintaro)

Montevallo’s Natalie Holsomback drives in for a shot while Calera’s Kalen Starks attempts to block in a Jan. 7 matchup. (Contributed/Amy Pintaro)

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

CALERA — The Calera Eagles varsity girls basketball team overcame an uncharacteristic slow start to topple visiting Montevallo 41-35 Jan. 7.

Lauren Lilly was a one-woman show for Montevallo in the opening quarter, scoring all eight Bulldogs points as the visitors went up 4-0 and played the Eagles to a tie heading into the second period. Tyesha Haynes then registered five of her team-high 14 points to help Calera take a 17-12 lead into intermission.

“(During halftime I) basically just told them we’re not playing like Calera plays, and we’ve got to come out and give more effort because I basically said Montevallo wants it more than you do,” said Calera head coach James Knowles.

Knowles’ halftime speech seemed to positively impact his squad as the Eagles (12-3) widened its advantage in the third quarter. However, down by 11 as the fourth period kicked off, the Bulldogs (7-11) brandished some bite behind Alasha Reed. Reed recorded 13 of her game-high 16 points in the final quarter as Montevallo fought back, though Calera ultimately grabbed the win.

“Hey, a win’s a win,” Knowles said. “It wasn’t pretty but hey, it beats the alternative. It’s better to win ugly than to lose pretty, I guess you’d say.”

Haynes led the way in the Eagles victory with 14 points, four assists, six rebounds and six steals. Keyanna Gayden collected seven points, nine rebounds and nine blocks while Breonna Caldwall contributed 12 points. Kalen Starks had six points and five blocks for Calera.

For Montevallo, Reed registered her 16 points while Lilly logged 13 and Isabel Gallo notched six.