Lady Jags fall at Mountain Brook

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, January 19, 2016

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

MOUNTAIN BROOK – Spain Park fell to Mountain Brook earlier this season by a final of 62-50 on Jan. 8. To have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the upcoming area tournament, the Lady Jaguars needed a win at Spartan Arena on Jan. 19 to help make that happen. However, the Lady Jaguars could not muster enough offense to get past Mountain Brook on this night, and fell by a low-scoring final of 36-31.

Neither team was able to establish much of an offense presence at any point throughout the game. Spain Park especially struggled offensively, and did not score in double figures in any one quarter.

The first quarter was actually the most efficient for Spain Park, as Claire Holt, Skyla Knight, Maggie Baldwin and Jada Ashford scored at least two points a piece, but Mountain Brook, led by two three-pointers from Kate Bumgarner, pulled ahead after the first quarter 12-9, and only relinquished the lead momentarily from that point on.

The second quarter was the most offensively anemic, as both teams struggled to find the basket with any consistency and only managed seven total points. Spain Park’s intermittent full-course press sufficiently flummoxed the Mountain Brook guards, and led to a number of turnovers in the quarter. Mountain Brook, by contrast, spent the quarter in a 2-3 base defense. And while the Lady Jaguars were able to get the ball into a flashing Elizabeth Philpot or Christen Rushing in the heart of the defense around the free throw line with some semblance of consistency, they were unable to convert the subsequent looks at the basket, and trailed at the half 15-14.

Both teams did come out firing in the second half, as Holt and Knight both connected from deep early to set a quick pace and tie the game at 20-20 early. However the Lady Jaguars only managed two more points in the third quarter, a result of an Arielle Parks bucket, and trailed heading into the final quarter 22-25.

Sara Carr put the Lady Spartans on her back in the final period with eight total points, and her 15 total second half points were only two less than Spain Park’s cumulative total. Jailyn Craig tied the game at 31 apiece midway through the fourth quarter, the Lady Spartans could not muster any more points as Carr closed the game with a three-point play late in regulation, and Spain Park fell 36-31.

Spain Park fell to 12-9 (3-2) with the loss.