Jags repeat as Bryant Bank Champs
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
TRUSSVILLE – For the second time in as many years, the Spain Park Lady Jags’ basketball team won the Bryant Bank Thanksgiving Classic at Hewitt-Trussville High School after beating the host Huskies for the second consecutive year in the championship game on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The Jaguars (5-1) were able to pull out a tight seven-point win by a final of 62-55 thanks in large part to 41 combined points from Claire Holt and Sarah Ashlee Barker.
Holt led the way with 25 points, while Barker gave Spain Park 16 additional points for two double-digit scorers in the contest. The Jags were able to hit seven 3-pointers in the game, which was a difference maker due to Hewitt hitting just four on the night.
Spain Park hit two of those threes in the first quarter, but the Huskies hit two of their four as well and came out of the gate looking like the better team.
Thanks to Leah Harrison’s nine first-quarter points for Hewitt-Trussville, the Huskies were able to take a four-point, 16-12, lead at the end of the first period.
The Huskies were able to maintain that lead heading into the half thanks to an 11-11 second quarter.
Spain Park had trouble with fouls in the period as Hewitt made a living at the free throw line. At the end of the second quarter, the Huskies had knocked down 7-of-8 free throws to take a 27-23 lead into the half.
Hewitt’s hot start was sparked by Harrison and London Coleman, who both had double digits in the first half with 11 points. Holt was the only Jaguar keeping pace as she poured in 12 first-half points of her own.
Spain Park came out of the break playing much better, specifically on the offensive end of the floor. The Huskies still put up 15 points on the offensive end, but the Jaguars posted 18 points as Barker got hot posting 10 of her 16 points in the quarter.
Heading to the final quarter, the Huskies held a slim 42-41 lead as the Jags had chipped away at the lead in the third period.
Spain Park turned up that offensive pressure even more in the final frame, posting 21 points for its best quarter of play in the game. A lot of that was due to clutch late free throws as the Jags shot 5-7 from the line in the fourth.
The Jags went on to limit the Huskies to their second lowest quarter of production with just 13 points as Spain Park went on to repeat as champions with a final score of 62-55.
Behind Holt and Barker, Ahrielle Parks had eight points, Bailey Bowers and Barrett Herring both had five, and Christen Rusting had three. Holt was named as the tournament MVP for her efforts.
Hewitt was led by Coleman with 24 points and Harrison with 14 points.