Montevallo boys, girls pick up big area wins

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY – Montevallo’s boys and girls basketball teams hit the road south on Tuesday, Jan. 23, as they traveled down to Montgomery Academy for a big area matchup with the Eagles.

While both teams had inconsistent starts to the game, they combined to outscore Montgomery Academy 46-20 in the final period of play to give the boys and girls an area victory. Each game is recapped below.

Girls start slow, finish powerful

The Lady Bulldogs had a specifically slow start in the game, failing to score 20 points through three quarters of play, which is uncharacteristic for this bunch with the scoring threats they put on the floor each night.

Trailing 21-18 heading to the final quarter, that group of scorers woke up and willed the team to victory by outscoring the Eagles 22-7 in the period to run away with an important 40-28 area victory over the second place team in Class 3A Area 5.

It marked the Bulldogs’ 20th win of the season as they improved to 20-3, but more importantly, they stayed perfect in area play moving to 4-0. With one more win they will take the regular season area championship.

The struggle early on saw Montevallo score just eight points in the first quarter as they played to an 8-8 tie at the end of the first quarter.

The second and third quarters were where it started to get worrisome for the Bulldogs’ offense.

In the second period, they were able to just score four points, while Montgomery Academy put up seven to take a 15-12 lead into the halftime break.

It didn’t appear that the halftime break helped too much in the way of offense for Montevallo as they scored eight points or less for the third consecutive period.

The Eagles limited them to just six points in the quarter, but were only able to score six of their own to keep the lead at three points, 21-18, heading to the final quarter.

Finally, something just seemed to click easily in the fourth quarter for Montevallo.

Head coach Tena Niven said it was the defensive pressure that led to easy baskets, adding she finally saw the sense of urgency she keeps harping on with her players.

It led to the 22-point final quarter and the Bulldogs running away with the 40-28 win.

While it didn’t look like any one player would have a strong scoring night for a while, three ended up in double figures. Alasha Reed led the way with 15 points, while Lauryn Lilly and Takila Hill added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Shamia Smith also took seven charges in the game for a strong effort on the defensive side.

Strong fourth quarter propels boys

The boys found themselves in a similar situation as the girls, trailing 38-35 heading into the final quarter; but like the girls, Montevallo turned up the pressure to outscore the Eagles 24-13 in the final quarter of play.

It led to a 59-51 win for the Bulldogs and avenged a difficult two-point, 43-41, loss to the area opponent back on Jan. 9, as Montevallo moved to 2-2 in area play and 9-11 overall.

The Bulldogs never really had a bad quarter and started with the lead in the first period thanks to outscoring Montgomery Academy 14-12 in the frame.

They were able to take the lead into the half after a 12-12 tie in the second quarter gave Montevallo a 26-24 lead at the break.

The Eagles, however, had their best quarter coming out of the locker room, outscoring the Bulldogs 14-9 in the period to give them a 38-35 lead and the momentum heading to the final period.

Montevallo was able to respond with its best quarter of the game thanks to its 24 points and strong defensive effort that limited the Eagles to 15 points or less in all four quarters.

Senior Daqwan Bryant led the Bulldogs with 16 points. Jamarcus Green continued his stellar season as well with 15 points, six assists and six rebounds.