MHS girls come up short against Midfield

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO — The Jan. 15 varsity girls basketball clash between Class 3A, Area 8 rivals Midfield and host Montevallo was characterized by big streaks and a pair of noteworthy performances as the visiting Patriots pounded the Bulldogs 53-22.

Montevallo (9-12, 2-4 in Area 8) jumped out to a 3-0 lead until Midfield asserted itself with 12 consecutive points to quickly quell any early momentum for the Bulldogs. Eight of the Patriots’ first-quarter points were provided by Gabrielle Nicholson as Midfield built a 15-5 lead.

The Patriots (11-7, 7-0) upped their game in the second period thanks to a 13-0 run to end the half, and the visitors carried a 32-11 advantage into the break.

Despite the big initial run by the Patriots, Montevallo head coach Tena Niven downplayed its psychological impact on her team.

“I think (any effect) was more of when we were behind by 13 and we’re still kind of in the game, we’re battling,” said Niven. “And then we go down and turn the ball over twice on offense and give them two more easy baskets and all of a sudden (the lead) is up to like 20.”

Things didn’t improve for the Bulldogs after intermission, and though Midfield failed to score a single point in the final period, the damage had been done.

Despite the bleak outcome, Niven found positives in her team’s performance.

“I thought we came back out the second half and played a little bit better, little bit better defense,” Niven said. “You know, this is one of the top teams in the state in (Class) 3A, and before I think they beat us by about 50. And to be able to hold it right around 30 I thought was pretty good tonight because they kept the starters in all the way until the end there with about four minutes (left).”

Lauren Lilly led the way for Montevallo with 11 points, followed by Isabel Gallo with three.

Midfield was paced by Devin Brownlee’s 22 points, while Nicholson added 14.