Spain Park Basketball
Spain Park's Ahrielle Parks (1) in a Lady Jag Christmas Tournament game between Spain Park and Thompson on Friday, December 23, 2016, at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama.
Lady Jags roll
Spain Park got all it wanted against Mountain Brook on Wednesday in the Class 7A, Area 6 tournament.
The Lady Jaguars closed the final 6:16 on a 13-0 run to defeat the Lady Spartans 49-41. Spain Park will play host to Huffman on Friday in the area championship game. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Mountain Brook led 41-36 with 6:16 to play, but Spain Park scored the final 13 points to close out the win. Claire Holt led the Lady Jaguars with a game-high 24 points. Ahrielle Parks added 10, and Bailey Bowers chipped in with nine points and six rebounds for Spain Park.
Spain Park head coach Mike Chase said Mountain Brook played harder and smarter than his team for most of the game.
“We didn’t play very good tonight, but hats off to them,” he said. “They came out and played well early. We played from behind. We weren’t making plays on defense. When you’re down, you can’t try to catch up by making more shots than the other team.”
Mountain Brook was led by Kate Bumgarner, who scored all 11 of her points in the first half. Lucy Harrison scored all nine of her points in the second half for the Lady Spartans.
Spain Park led Mountain Brook 25-22 at halftime. The first half saw six lead changes after Mountain Brook got out to a quick 9-2 lead. There were four second-half lead changes.
Huffman advanced to the area title game after beating Oak Mountain 41-28.
Chase said the key against the Lady Vikings on Friday will be rebounding.
“They’re athletic. We’ve played them twice. We’ve played well both times we’ve played against them. It’s going to be a totally different game, totally different style of game. It’s going to be more physical.”
With their wins, both Spain Park and Huffman clinched spots in the 7A regional tournament set for Feb. 16 at Jacksonville State University.
Lady Eagles eliminated
Connie Clarke did it all for Huffman.
The Huffman forward scored nine points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked a couple shots in the Lady Vikings’ 41-28 win over Oak Mountain in the 7A, Area 6 tournament Wednesday at Spain Park. She even wiped sweat from the floor.
Oak Mountain’s season comes to an end with the loss.
The Lady Eagles struggled from the floor, going through a drought of 10:05 of clock time between the second and third quarters without a point. The Lady Eagles scored all 10 of their second-half points from the free throw line.
“Going in, we knew that was going to be a key, try to control them,” said Oak Mountain head coach Allen McGowan. “We didn’t do a great job of that.”
Jayla Crawford led all scorers with 21 points for the Lady Vikings. She also pulled down six rebounds. Huffman made 15 of its 35 free throw attempts.
“We lost a little composure there for a second,” McGowan said of the drought that carried over from the second to the third quarter. “That was big. We couldn’t recover from it.”
For Oak Mountain, Jacoby Sims and Kennedy Smith scored six points apiece. Hannah Edwards scored five points and grabbed six rebounds. Clara Fuller scored four points and pulled down four rebounds.
“We’ve had a great season,” McGowan said. “We’ve got one senior so we’ll bounce back.”
Huffman will meet Spain Park on Friday for the area championship.
Lady Hornets prevail
The Chelsea girls basketball team fought off a plucky Pelham team on Wednesday, prevailing 60-50 in the opening round of the 6A, Area 8 tournament.
The Lady Hornets won both regular season meetings between the two teams by a combined 30 points, but the Panthers went toe-to-toe with Chelsea on Wednesday, holding a lead in the game as deep as the final minutes of the third quarter.
The first half was evenly contested, as Pelham held a one-point lead after a quarter of play and a two-point edge -- 21-19 -- at the half. Chelsea took control of the game in the third quarter, as the Lady Hornets outscored Pelham 14-8, taking the lead and not relinquishing it.
Chelsea advances to the area tournament final against host Helena, set to be played Friday at 6 p.m.