Oak Mountain seniors combine for 43 points on senior night

Published 8:36 pm Monday, January 28, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – It was a special night for the Oak Mountain girls basketball team as the Eagles honored four special seniors, who suited up for their last regular-season home game ever on Monday, Jan. 28, when they played host to county foe Chelsea.

Not only did Adair Klapow, Clara Fuller, Emily Cruce and Kailey Rory all score in a 67-55 win to pull off a special senior-night victory, but they combined for 43 of the team’s 67 points as well.

Rory has been on fire for much of the season, but has really seemed to turn up her game as of late to give her team a push toward a postseason spot, and she flashed that same brilliance in this one posting 22 points to lead all scorers in the game.

Behind that, Fuller posted a strong 10 points to give the Eagles two double-digit scorers in the game, as she not only had a strong game but was determined to be a difference in the fourth quarter posting six of her 10 points in the final period to help stave off the Hornets.

Cruce added nine points thanks to a 3-pointer, two field goals and a 2-2 mark from the free throw line, while Klapow really sparked the team by scoring in the opening period of the game to post her two points, as all four seniors scored points to open the game and set the tone for what became a memorable night.

Because of that spark, Oak Mountain had a different edge out of the gate and not only posted 15 points in the opening period, but more importantly limited Chelsea to just one scorer and two field goals, as Sydney Schwallie had all four points.

The Hornets’ effort on the offensive end of the floor was much better in the second quarter of the game thanks to Mackenzie Titus. She went on to make three field goals, including an and-1 as well as a 3-pointer, to post eight points in the frame, while Chelsea put up 17 as a team.

The problem Chelsea, however, was still Oak Mountain’s offense—in particular Rory.

The senior came out in the second quarter ready to make a statement and went on a tear by knocking down five field goals, including two 3-pointers to put up 12 points in the quarter.

She also got help from Abi Brown and Riley Sullivan with two 3-pointers, while Ta’Niyah Smith knocked down a field goal as well to give the Eagles 20 points in the period and a 35-21 advantage at the half.

Coming out of the half, both offenses continued to play extremely well and balanced.

Chelsea came out and got 16 more points from four different scorers in the quarter, while the Eagles also put up 16 points with seven different players knocking down a field goal.

The balanced effort from the Eagles helped them maintain their 14-point lead heading to the final quarter.

Thanks to their best offensive effort of the game in the final quarter, the Hornets were able to cut the deficit to 10 points with just less than seven minutes remaining in the quarter.

Chelsea again used four scorers in the quarter and made 5-8 free throws, while hitting six field goals as well to post 18 points in the quarter.

However, despite a slight struggle at the free throw line from Oak Mountain in the quarter, the Eagles were able to get 14 combined points from Fuller, Rory and Hannah Edwards in the final frame, as well as two made free throws from Cruce to pull off the senior night victory.

Oak Mountain saw 10 different players score in the win with Edwards adding nine points and Brown posting six points. Sullivan had three points, while Smith, Zoe Atkinson and Abby Gordon all had two points.

Chelsea was led by Titus with 19 points, while Jordan Parker added 12 points. Schwallie and Ellen Fleming both had eight points as well.