Fast start, strong finish propels Spain Park to win against Pelham

Published 8:11 am Thursday, January 6, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – The Spain Park Jaguars used a 23-point first quarter and a strong finish to overcome a mid-game lull against county foe Pelham on Wednesday, Jan. 5 en route to a 55-45 victory.

Spain Park took a 23-9 lead out of the gate with a dominant first quarter, but Pelham fought back to within two points in the third quarter.

The Jaguars, however, faced the adversity and responded to a scoring drought in the period by outscoring the Panthers 17-11 in the final quarter to pick up the 10-point victory.

Early, it looked as if the Jags were going to pull away against the ranked opponent thanks to six 3-pointers in the opening quarter.

Camille Chase hit three, Kerri Barnes hit two and Charlee Bennett hit one in addition to points from Alex Baskin and Paxton Gillispie.

That led to 23 points, while the Jags held Pelham to nine points on four made field goals for a 14-point lead at the end of one.

Pelham, however, quickly made defensive adjustments in the second quarter, which limited the success Spain park had beyond the arc.

The Jaguars made just one in the second quarter.

Their free throw shooting, however, allowed them to score 10 points thanks to a 5-7 mark from the line.

That was enough to maintain the 14-point advantage at the half, as Pelham’s offense struggled to follow the defense’s success, leading to a 33-19 lead at the break.

That fate quickly changed in the third quarter for the Panthers.

Savannah Scarbrough started with a big 3-pointer, which was followed by five consecutive points from Gogan.

That propelled a 10-0 run in the first 2:55 of the quarter to bring the Panthers within four points at 33-29.

The Panthers, however, went scoreless for the next several minutes.

Then, Spain Park was able to get its first point on a free throw from Chase with 3:04 left in the period.

Pelham bounced back with a 5-0 spurt on an offensive put back and another Scarbrough to get within two points at 36-34, but the Jags responded with a layup on an offensive rebound of their own to end the quarter.

From that point forward, the Jags started using quick cuts and fast ball movement to make the difference.

With head coach Mike Chase begging his team to move and cut, it led to a quick 3-pointer from Gillispie to start the final quarter.

Pelham did get within four points again late in the quarter following another Scarbrough three, but the Jags followed that with a 7-0 run to go up by 10 points.

Pelham never got closer than six the rest of the way, as the Jags sealed the game at the free throw line in the closing minute of the game.

Chase led Spain Park with 16 points, while Gillispie added 10.

Pelham got 13 from Scarbrough, while Tate finished with 12 and Gogan 11 in the loss.