Montevallo beats Indian Springs for first area win

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

MONTEVALLO – Behind a 17-point second quarter and a combined 33 points from freshman Jai-Lin Ivory and senior Tiana Kennedy, the Montevallo girls’ basketball team was able to start area play 1-0 with a 44-31 victory against Indian Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

With the win, Montevallo improved to 4-4 overall this season and picked up its first area win of the 2019-20 season.

The Bulldogs were able to create early separation because of strong defensive play, which also came full circle in the final quarter of the game.

In the opening quarter, Montevallo started with its strongest defensive period of the game, holding Indian Springs to just seven points in the frame.

On the other end of the floor, the Bulldogs were able to do enough to take an early lead in the game thanks to an unbelievable start to the game from Ivory. She posted all 10 of the team’s points in the period behind two 3-pointers and two other made jumpers as well to give her team a 10-7 advantage.

Her offensive presence in the opening quarter seemed to propel the rest of the offense in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs put together their best offensive frame of the game.

They posted 17 points thanks to eight more from Ivory, as well as four from Kennedy and three combined from Riauna Inabinette and Siara Kennedy.

Defensively, the Bulldogs held Indian Springs to single digits for the second consecutive quarter of the game at just eight points, which allowed MHS to take a 27-15 halftime lead.

That strong defensive first half was just the beginning to a strong night for Montevallo, who never gave up more than nine points in any quarter of the game, which paid off in the third.

While the Bulldogs’ defense allowed just seven more points, the offense hit a lull in the third quarter. Scoring just five points off two made field goals and a 1-2 mark from the free throw line, Indian Springs was able to cut into the lead, but only by two points, as Montevallo’s defense kept the momentum from fully shifting in the period.

Facing a 32-22 deficit heading to the final quarter against a Montevallo defense that had yet to give up more than eight points in a period, Indian Springs needed a big final frame to pull off the comeback win.

While the Springs offense put together its best quarter of the game with nine points, eight missed free throws became costly.

Montevallo capitalized and got 10 fourth-quarter points from Kennedy to close out the game with a 12-point period, which led to the final score of 44-31.

Ivory posted a game-high 19 points in the win, while Kennedy added 14 for the Bulldogs.