Helena uses quick start to down McAdory, move on to second round

Published 1:31 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

McCALLA – The Helena Huskies flew out of the gate and didn’t look back as the No. 8 team in Class 6A beat the McAdory Yellow Jackets 5-0 on Thursday, April 25 to take their first-round matchup with ease.

The victory books Helena’s spot in the second round of the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons and came after a blistering start from the Huskies.

Helena scored the first goal in the opening minutes of the match but wasn’t satisfied with that. Soon after, the Huskies scored again to make it two goals in the first 11 minutes of the match to take a 2-0 lead.

From there, Helena got a save off a McAdory break in the 12th minute and then pressed the attack as it aimed to increase its lead even more.

In the 22nd minute, Miah Rosener’s shot was saved, but it bounced off the keeper’s gloves and nearly became playable.

10 minutes later, Helena had a strong chance in front of the goal, but it would have to wait one more minute before increasing its lead.

The Huskies sent a corner kick into the box in the 33rd minute, and while Baileigh Rumage’s initial shot was saved, Kendall Payton came in to shoot off the rebound and scored to take Helena’s lead to 3-0.

Rumage then had another attempt on goal in the 37th minute with a chip shot that ended up over the goal. However, she managed to find the net before the end of the half.

With less than a minute left before halftime, Rumage got an opportunity off the counterattack close to goal. She made the short run in and calmly placed the shot in the middle of the goal to put the Huskies up 4-0 at the break.

Not even a minute into the second half, Addison Foxworth served a cross into the center box to try and get another quick goal, but Helena couldn’t handle the ball and McAdory’s keeper fell on the ball to eliminate the threat.

The Huskies then got another solid chance 10 minutes later in the 51st minute when Rosener sent a shot into the lower right-hand corner that the Jackets saved.

While much of the half’s offense favored Helena, McAdory did get a counterattack opportunity in the 59th minute that the Huskies defense handled to keep the clean sheet alive.

Helena later found the back of the net one last time in the 66th minute to take the lead to five goals over the Jackets.

The Huskies got a trio of crosses from Ashlynn Beery in the five-minute span between the 68th and 73rd minute in search of a sixth goal, but the crosses were either handled by McAdory’s keeper or missed.

The score line held until the end as Helena secured the 5-0 win to make its return to the second round of the playoffs.

Kate Hendrix led the offense with two goals on the night as Rumage, Rosener and Payton each had one goal apiece to round out the scoring.

Rumage also finished the game with two assists to go with her first-half goal and led the team with 10 shots, including seven on target.

Rosener and Beery both cracked the five-shot threshold with four of Beery’s five ending up on goal and three of Rosener’s five going on target.

Addisyn Cook earned five saves in 70 minutes while stopping all of the shots she faced to combine for the clean sheet with Adyson Shelton who shut out McAdory in the other 10 minutes and recorded a save in the process.

The Huskies will face the winner of Briarwood and Hueytown in the second round of the playoffs on either April 29 or 30.