Tena Niven gets win No. 300 at Montevallo

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOOVER – For the past 16 years, the Montevallo basketball court has been graced by the presence of girls’ head coach Tena Niven, who has accumulated some impressive feats.

On Saturday, Dec. 23, Niven accomplished her most impressive achievement to date.

In the final game of the Spain Park Lady Jags Chevron Classic, the Bulldogs picked up a 50-44 win over Murphy High School to give Niven her 300th win at Montevallo.

The Bulldogs were in a battle from the tip of the game, but Alasha Reed and her game-high 24 points were determined to help her head coach reach the historic career milestone.

It was a game that started out slow on the offensive end of the floor in the first quarter, with neither team able to reach double digits. Montevallo was able to take a slim one-point, 9-8, lead at the end of the quarter thanks to strong defense; which Niven has wanted to see all year.

Both offenses woke up in the second quarter combining for 34 points. Montevallo was able to outscore Murphy 18-16 in the quarter to take a 27-24 lead at the halftime break.

Coming out of the half, the two teams reverted bac to their first quarter play with offense being hard to come by. The bulldogs failed to reach double digits for the second time in the game scoring just seven points, while Murphy put up 10 to tie the game 34-34 heading to the final quarter of play.

Montevallo started the first two minutes of the fourth period on a strong run, taking a seven-point lead with 6:00 left in the game.

Several turnovers over the ensuing possessions allowed Murphy right back into the game as they came back to take a two-point lead wish just under four minutes remaining.

Lauren Lilly gave the Bulldogs the answer they needed by scoring 11 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer with 2:00 left in the contest.

Montevallo was able to hang on over the final 2:00 to preserve the six-point win.

Reed and Lilly combined for 30 points in the win, while Tekay Hill also added eight as the Bulldogs improved to 13-2 (1-0) on the season.

Montevallo went 2-1 in the tournament with a 59-54 win over Cullman and a 52-30 loss to Shades Valley also taking place.