CVA girls knock off Bessemer Academy

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

BESSEMER — Coosa Valley Academy benefited from prolific performances by Danielle Richardson and Kaylan Rich on its way to a 62-49 victory over host Bessemer Academy in a Rebels-versus-Rebels showdown in AISA varsity girls basketball Jan. 24.

Richardson racked up 27 points, six assists and 11 steals while Rich recorded 26 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Rich and Richardson also scored 14 and 10 points, respectively, as Coosa Valley burst out of the gate for a 26-7 lead in the opening quarter.

However, Bessemer Academy battled back behind nine of Hannah Kitchens’ team-high 19 points, whittling away Coosa Valley’s advantage and entering halftime down eight.

“I think we let up after we got way ahead,” said Coosa Valley head coach Kimbo Rutledge. “I pulled us out of the (full-court) press after we got 20 points ahead.”

After extending its lead to 41-29 after intermission, Rich left the game with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter with a left-wrist injury. In her absence Bessemer Academy chipped away at the lead once again, outscoring Coosa Valley 8-4 for the rest of the period and entering the final quarter with another 8-point deficit.

With her team out front 45-37, Rich returned for the start of the final period to score Coosa Valley’s first four points, in the process showing no ill effects from her ailing wrist. Rich posted four more points in the quarter while Richardson registered seven as Coosa Valley grabbed the win.

“It was her (Rich’s) left hand so I told her to get back out there, it’s your left hand (and) you shoot righthanded,” Rutledge said, laughing.

According to Rutledge, inconsistency has sort of defined his girls’ season.

“(Tonight’s performance has) kind of been the story of our team,” said Rutledge. “Last night we were consistent for the most part (but) we have one quarter where we just cannot score, and it kind of sets us back a bit.”

For Coosa Valley, Payton Stephens provided seven points in the winning effort.

Erin Harrison complemented Kitchens with 15 points as Bessemer Academy fell to 2-8.