Spain Park girls pick up 25th win of season

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter

VESTAVIA – Just days after finishing with a perfect area record for the second consecutive season, the Spain Park girls basketball team wasted no time getting their 25th win of the season Tuesday night, Jan. 30 over the Vestavia Hills Rebels, 69-24.

The hosting Rebels looked sharp out of the gate forcing turnovers and took a 7-5 lead on a 3-pointer from Anna Wood, but the Jaguars turned up the heat. Five different players scored for Spain Park in the first quarter and they scored the last 13 points to take a solid 19-7 lead.

The teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but the Jags got hot again- this time from long range. Up 19-10, Spain Park hit four threes in a row, which ignited a 21-2 run where the team again finished the quarter with the last 15 points.

SPHS head coach Mike Chase was very familiar with Vestavia Hills, a fellow Birmingham area foe, and it served his team well as they took control.

“Vestavia for years has always been a backside help oriented team so they’re going to draw all five players on defense to the side the ball is on,” Chase said. “We had a couple of skip passes over to the backside, got a pretty good look and were able to take advantage of what we were given.”

Coming out of halftime with the offense clicking and a big lead, there might have been a tendency to get soft on defense for the Jaguars. Instead, the defense bowed up and allowed just one basket in the third quarter.

Coach Chase took his starters out with 4:47 to go in the quarter, yet the standard remained the same.

The defense finished the game forcing 17 turnovers and gave up just nine points after halftime.

With a 59-17 lead after three quarters, a running clock in the game’s final period finished things up quickly.

The Jaguars nearly finished with four players in double digits despite playing just over two quarters. Claire Holt and Bailey Bowers lead the team with 10 points apiece, while Ahrielle Parks and Barrett Herring chipped in nine points each.

Spain Park (25-4) will conclude their regular season on the road Friday, Feb. 2 when they visit the Hoover Bucs at 6 p.m.