Bulldogs bring home area championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – A strong season for the Montevallo Lady Bulldogs got even stronger on Thursday, Feb. 8, when the team was able to run away for a 56-42 win over Montgomery Academy in the championship game of the Class3A, Area 5 tournament.

Montevallo trailed at the end of one quarter, but went on to outscore the Eagles 44-25 over the final three quarters of action to pull away for the easy win and tournament title.

The win sealed a Sub-Regional spot against the Beulah High School, the Class 3A, Area 6 runner-up, as the Bulldogs will now turn their attention to a strong postseason run.

In the first quarter, Montgomery Academy came out on fire offensively posting 17 points in the period.

Montevallo’s 12 points weren’t bad, but put them behind the eight ball in the early going. The good news for the Bulldogs was it was their least productive quarter in the game and the Eagles’ most productive quarter.

In the second quarter, Montevallo picked up the pace on both sides of the ball, locking down defensively and getting better looks at the basket.

The Bulldogs went on a 19-6 run in the quarter to take a commanding 31-23 lead at the half.

Heading into the third quarter, the game was still very manageable for the Eagles down by just eight points, but that quickly changed.

Montevallo scored just 12 points in the quarter, which is nowhere near as productive as they can be, but those 12 points still allowed the Bulldogs to extend their lead by 10 points after limiting Montgomery Academy to just two points in the quarter.

The strong defensive effort from Montevallo is something head coach Tena Niven has been preaching all season and clearly preached again during the halftime break. It led to the Bulldogs grabbing a comfortable 43-25 lead heading to the final eight minutes of the contest.

The final quarter of play was just a formality as Montgomery Academy outscored Montevallo 17-13, but still ended up falling by 14 points as the Bulldogs picked up the easy 56-42 win.

Takila Hill led three double-figure scorers with 16 points in the win, while Lauryn Lilly and Alasha Reed added 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Montevallo moved to 25-5 on the season with the win and started what Niven and the players hope is going to be a strong postseason run.