Shelby County girls score 60 first-half points in dominant win

Published 11:16 am Friday, January 18, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

COLUMBIANA – By the time halftime rolled around of an area matchup with the Jemison Panthers at home on Thursday, Jan. 17, the No. 6 Shelby County Wildcats had put 60 points on the board for a 60-3 lead, before going on to win the game by a final score of 85-14.

It was just another statement made by the Wildcats who are trying to prove they belong in the conversation among the state’s elite Class 5A teams thanks to an overall record of 19-1 and a perfect area record of 4-0.

Shelby County was clearly the superior team, but for the Wildcats to dominate the way they did, and with their only loss coming to 7A No. 2 McGill-Toolen, they are a team that is clearly on a redemption path after last year’s heartbreak in the Elite Eight.

The Wildcats’ statement against Jemison was made in the first quarter, as nine different players scored to roll up 31 points in the period and set the tone for the rest of the night.

Aliyah Cotton, Maggie West, Nataley Whitner, Skye Knighten-Lilly, Jai-Lin Ivory and Jalyn Jones all had at least four points in the period with West leading the way at eight points.

Defensively, Shelby County allowed just one field goal, while Jemison added one free throws for three points, which allowed the Wildcats to take a 31-3 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

That strong presence on both ends of the floor continued into the second quarter with the Wildcats giving up no points on the defensive end, which led to easy transition baskets for the second period in a row.

Offensively, West continued a strong game with seven more points thanks to a 3-pointer and two additional field goals, while Ivory also added seven more points to her stat line.

Those two were joined by four other scorers, as Shelby County went on to post 29 more points for a halftime total of 60 to take an insurmountable 60-3 lead into the break.

In the third quarter, Jemison came out and had their best offensive quarter of the game with eight points, but Madison Purcell matched that with eight points of her own, while three others scored as well for 15 more points in the quarter as the Wildcats extended their lead to 75-11 at the end of the frame.

With a running clock in the final quarter, Shelby County posted 10 more points to Jemison’s three points to close the game out by a final score of 85-14.

West led all scorers with 15 points, while Ivory posted 11 points. In all, the Wildcats got points from 11 different players with seven players scoring at least eight points.