SPHS seniors excel again, then honored

HOOVER – Spain Park High School’s girls basketball team turned in another dominant performance in a 50-29 win over Huffman on Tuesday, Jan. 23, on the night the program’s seniors were recognized for their historic contributions.

Claire Holt, Spain Park’s all-time leading scorer, turned in game-high 21 points, while fellow seniors Barrett Herring, the school’s single-season blocks leader, and Christen Rushing helped the team control the paint on both ends of the floor.

With the win, the Jaguars (23-4 overall, 5-0 in area play) are one game away (against Mountain Brook on Friday) of finishing unbeaten in their area for the second consecutive season.

The game on Tuesday was deadlocked at 2-2 early until Sarah Ashlee Barker blocked a Huffman shot and Holt pushed a fastbreak and found an open Ahrielle Parks for an early lead for the Jags.

Barker was a big part of Spain Park’s strong interior defense that contested everything Huffman tried to do, leading to a 6-3 lead for the hosts at the end of the first period.

The Jags offense heated up in the second period.

Huffman briefly took the lead on a lay-in by Anya Horn, but SPHS took it right back when Rushing scored two of her eight points on the night. That point total was tied with Bailey Bowers and behind only Holt for the Jaguars.

Bowers and Holt found their stroke from three-point range in the quarter as their team started to pull away from the Vikings.

The Jaguars’ man-to-man defense continued to harass the visitors as Spain Park led 22-10 at halftime.

The third period was an onslaught as Holt was good from long range to start the scoring, and the Spain Park offense began to match the defense in terms of energy and aggression.

Mackenzie Culpepper came off the bench to score three points for the Jags in the period, at the end of which they led 42-17.

The hosts cruised in the fourth period behind six more points from Holt.

The team’s seniors, which also include Maddison McDonald, were honored after the game.

Jayla Crawford led Huffman with nine points.