Lady Eagles’ season ends in Sweet 16
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
MONTGOMERY – An already impressive season under their belts, the Calera Eagles’ girls basketball team was looking to make a special run in the playoffs after clinching a spot in the Sweet 16, but the Central-Tuscaloosa Falcons had other plans.
Coming into the game with an overall record of 21-6 and a ranking of No. 6 in the ASWA 5A standings, the Falcons were considered not just a favorite in the game, but a favorite to win the Class 5A State Championship after making a run to the Elite Eight in 2017.
Central came out from the opening tip playing like a state-championship team as the Falcons flew out to a quick 9-0 lead.
They were able to grab offensive rebound after offensive rebound and force a turnover on Calera’s first few possessions of the game. Central grabbed the nine-point advantage after a possession where they were able to come down with three straight offensive rebounds.
The Eagles finally found some success over the next couple of minutes after failing to even hit the rim during their first few possessions.
Thanks to a euro-step layup from Treasure Davis and five straight points from Charley Clark, Calera was able to reel off a 7-2 run to cut into the deficit.
Leading 11-7, Central realized they had started to slack off and switched into a new gear that stayed with them the rest of the game.
Between the end of the first quarter and midway through the second quarter, the Falcons were able to go on a 15-0 run to take a commanding 26-7 lead.
Sarah Goodwin and Davis ended that run with another 7-2 run to trim Central’s lead to 14 at 28-14, but that’s as close as Calera was able to get for the rest of the game.
The Falcons went on to close the second quarter on an 8-0 run to take a 36-14 advantage at the half.
Turnovers and offensive rebounds given up were just too much for Calera to overcome in the second half.
Calera was only able to score six points in the third period, while the Falcons put up 10 more points to extend their lead to 46-20 at the end of the third quarter.
With the lead seemingly out of reach, the Eagles didn’t give up their fight in the final quarter as they battled until the final buzzer sounded.
It led to Calera outscoring Central 17-15 in the final eight minutes of the game to show their belief and tenacity. Central’s strong play, however, did lead to a 61-37 win for the Falcons to end the Eagles’ special season in the Sweet 16.