Rebels finish second in state
Published 10:26 am Thursday, February 21, 2013
A young Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels basketball team could not overcome a second half shooting drought, falling to Pickens Academy 36-31 and finishing as runner-up at Huntingdon College in the 2A Alabama Independent School Association’s Girl’s State Basketball Championship Tournament last Friday night.
The Lady Rebels controlled the opening tip, scored the first bucket of the championship game and led at the half 18-16.
“Everybody said all year long, we’re young, but we tried to put that out the window,” Lowndes Academy Varsity Girls head basketball coach Jeff Lovell said. “You know, you’ve got to grow up at some point in time. We had plenty of opportunities… I know we missed some layups… maybe that’s inexperience, I don’t know. But I can’t fault their effort. They gave it everything they had tonight.”
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The Lady Rebels kept the contest close, trailing 27-23 at the end of the third period. But it was the Pickens Academy Pirates who would hold on for the win 36-31.
“Youth” is right. Lovell said the Lady Rebels will lose only one senior, Anna Marie Bozeman from the 2A State Runner-Up team.
“We started two ninth graders, an eighth grader and two eleventh graders. So, we’ll have our whole starting five coming back next year,” he said.
While Lovell said there is no guarantee, he said he hopes to have the Lady Rebels back in the state championship game “at least once or twice” over the next few years.
He said his team has hung its hat on defense all year long and hasn’t shot the ball well.
“We can shoot it. I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing,” Lovell said. But, “It’s something we’ll definitely work on in the off season,” he said.
“I owe it all to these girls,” Lovell said of his team’s accomplishment to defeat Autauga Academy in a final four match and to face Pickens Academy for the state championship.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them. It’s a great group of kids, and they’re already excited about next year,” Lovell said. “So, I’m looking forward to it too.”
In the championship game, Abby Pitts led with 7 points, Mallory McCurdy scored 6, Abby Ray and Sarah Anna McIntosh scored 5 each and Carmen Till scored 4.
For Pickens Academy, Marion Colvin, tournament most valuable player, scored 17 points.
The Lady Rebels defeated Autauga Academy 38-28 on Wednesday, Feb. 13 in a final four contest also at Huntingdon College in Montgomery.
The Lady Rebels scored the first two points of the game on free throws, led 10-6 in the first quarter, 15-12 at the half, 30-22 at the end of the third period and held on for 38-28 win.
Scoring for Lowndes Academy were Ray with 14 points, McCurdy with 11, Pitts with 6, McIntosh with 5 and Kailan Shepherd with 2.
For Autauga Academy Kelli Giles had 9 and Paige McCord had 8.
Named to the State Championship All Tournament Team were for Lowndes Academy Abby Ray and Mallory McCurdy. The Most Valuable Player of the tournament went to Pickens Academy’s Marion Colvin. Also named to the All Tournament Team were Elizabeth Hankins and Kacy Noland of Pickens Academy, Sara Kate Gibbs of Wilcox Academy and Raegen Shackelford of Autauga.