Montevallo girls win big on Senior Night

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – Montevallo High School’s basketball senior night was made even more special as the hometown Bulldogs took care of the Shelby County Wildcats on Thursday, Feb. 1, 64-44.

MHS started out red hot and rode it all the way to a 23-4 record on the year with just one game remaining in the regular season. Head coach Tena Niven saw an opportunity to seize momentum from the opening tip and quickly set up Montevallo’s full-court press after the Bulldogs’ first basket.

“That was the key coming out fast like that, aggressive. Seemed to stun them for just a little bit and they pretty much played even with us the rest of the ball game,” Niven said.

Not before Montevallo scored the first 13 points in the contest and surged to a 19-2 lead with three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The pressure, along with a steady dose of Lauryn Lilly and Tekay Hill, gave the Bulldogs a 24-7 lead they never relinquished.

The game served as a revenge win for Montevallo who lost to Shelby County on Dec. 4, but Niven admitted there were several reasons for her team’s dominant win.

“Unfortunately for both teams, Ashley (Phillips) and his team are battling the flu, one of his main player’s was out for tonight’s game,” Niven said. “We just got Tekay back tonight even though she produced a lot of points and rebounds for us you could tell she was feeling sluggish from missing Tuesday night’s game.”

The player Niven was referring to is Shelby County’s leading scorer Maggie West, a player that almost certainly would’ve made this one more of a contest.

Montevallo lost Tuesday night to Prattville Christian on a last-second shot so the flu bit both teams in the same week.

However, with Montevallo at full strength, Niven’s seniors delivered for her one last time at home.

Lilly finished with a team-high 31 points and had 18 by halftime. Senior guard Alasha Reed also hit double digits with 11 in her final game at Montevallo High School.

“You know, ever since they were in seventh grade when I would get them after Christmas they’ve been a huge part of our program,” Niven said with a smile about her seniors. “And I didn’t shed any tears tonight, but I promise you when it gets to the very, very last game and there is no more I’m going to cry a lot because they’ve meant an awful lot to this program.”

The Lady Bulldogs will conclude their regular season on the road at Briarwood Christian who Montevallo has already beaten once this season, 57-38.