Lady Rebels to play for AISA Class A Basketball State Title Saturday
Published 5:01 pm Friday, February 5, 2016
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes Academy Lady Rebels staged a second half comeback at the Crampton Bowl Multiplex in Montgomery on Friday to defeat the Lakeside Chiefs 40-31 and advance to their fourth AISA Basketball State Championship game in a row at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Rebels will face Patrician for the AISA Class A Basketball State Championship.
If the Lady Rebels win Saturday, it will mark their third AISA State Basketball Championship in a row, one in Class AA and two in Class A.
Lady Rebels head basketball coach Jeff Lovell said Friday’s win pits his team against Patrician on Saturday, the same team they finished runners-up to in the Class A Region 2 Tournament.
“I felt like we’ve been playing well,” Lovell said. “The regional tournament… we just didn’t shoot the ball very well. We played good enough to win, I felt like. But, you know, as we tell our players, the best team doesn’t always win.”
However, Lovell said, “We just stuck to our game plan. You know our girls are confident in what their abilities are, and sometimes it just doesn’t fall for you.”
He said of Friday’s win against Lakeside, however, “We struggled a little bit early on tonight, but we kept playing hard defense, second half we turned it up a little bit on defense, and that made the difference in the game.”
Lovell said, “We practiced this week and we said free throws could possibly make the difference. I think our last 12 points of the game came from the free throw line. So that was huge for them to step up, focus and concentrate on that.”
Against Lakeside, the Lady Rebels were led by Carmen Till with 16 pints, Abby Ray with 12 points and Sarah Anna McIntosh with 11 points.
The Lady Rebels trailed 9-2 at the end of the first period and 12-7 at the half. However, McIntosh put the Lady Rebels ahead for the first time in the game at the free throw line 15-14 with 5:32 left in the third period.
The Lady Rebels went on to take a 23-18 lead in the third quarter and hold on hitting free throws deown the stretch for the 40-31 win.
Lowndes Academy Athletic Director Matt Marshall said this class of senior girls has played in the state championship game in the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade. He said if they win the championship game, it will mark three titles in a row.
According to Lovell, the Lady Rebels were in Class AA in their freshmen and sophomore years and have been in Class A the past two years.