West Point's Olivia Ball shoots FT vs. Danville
FALKVILLE – West Point girls’ basketball coach John Welborn could compare Monday's performances of Lexi Shadix and Olivia Ball to how Kevin Durant and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors did in game two of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
Both raised their level of play tremendously and West Point left Falkville's Tom Drake Gymnasium 2-0 during a Monday play day, taking down Danville 63-42 and getting by Colbert County 58-53.
Things didn't turn out quite the way the Good Hope Lady Raiders wanted in their first play day of June. Good Hope was able to sandwich a 41-16 victory over Whitesburg Baptist, in between a 40-19 loss to Colbert County and a 45-23 setback to DAR.
Unstoppable was pretty much the case for Shadix in the first half of the Danville game. The freshman racked up 27 points by intermission, taking control of the team, with West Point on top at the break, 37-16.
Shadix hit seven field goals, two treys and seven free throws in the period. Shadix scored on six of the final seven possessions for the Lady Warriors with West Point using a 22-8 run in the final 8:00 to gain control of the contest.
Danville slowed up Shadix to start the second half. Her first basket didn't come until the 13:20 mark with West Point leading 43-28 and trying to slow down a Lady Hawks' run.
Shadix's final basket was a jumper with 3:20 to play as West Point led 54-37. She ended the contest scoring 35 points.
Point guard Brooke Brownfield buried a trey to move the margin to 57-37 with 2:37 remaining. Eighth grader Riley Jones had the final two baskets in a span of a minute with West Point getting a season high in points in their third play day assignment for the month.
Taking on Class 3A power Colbert County an hour after playing Danville, West Point went toe to toe with the Lady Indians. Colbert County surged ahead at the break by the score of 27-25.
Then it was time for Ball to pick up her phase of the game and give support to Shadix, who was shut out in the opening half by the Colbert County defense.
Ball scored eight points quickly to open the half with a trey putting them on top at 35-32. Shadix tallied a basket seconds later and the West Point margin was at 37-32 with 16:00 to play.
A shot from Shadix raised the West Point lead to 45-36, the largest, with 12:25 showing on the clock. Back came Colbert County, led by its talented senior, Chelsea Leach. Leach and company ignited an 11-2 run and tied the score at 47-47 with 5:54 to go.
Free throws by Makenzie Carter snapped the deadlock and a short rage shot from Ball pushed the West Point lead to 51-47 with 4:58 remaining.
A 3-point play by Ball at the 1:19 mark extended the advantage to 56-50. Then 11 seconds later, Ball had her final basket and the score was 58-50. Colbert County’s Leach scored from downtown with 25 seconds left, but time ran out on the Lady Indians.
Ball and Shadix combined for 14 points apiece in the second half. Ball led the Lady Warriors with 19 total to 14 for Shadix. Carter scored seven and was a factor in many defensive rebounds during the second half, especially when the game went into crunch time.
Micah Oldacre and Brownfield provided five points each from the backcourt with West Point off to a 3-1 start. The Lady Warriors have a 5 p.m. assignment with Locust Fork and a 7 p.m. battle vs. Cold Springs Tuesday at Jim Boyd Gymnasium.
A 1-2 day for Good Hope
Good Hope woke up from a sluggish performance against Colbert County to put away Whitesburg Baptist from Huntsville, keyed by an 11-2 run to close out the first half.
Center Kate Kent started strong for Amanda Swann's Lady Raiders. Kent had five consecutive field goals with Good Hope out to an early 10-2 lead.
Whitesburg started to cover Kent in the post and the offense went through a five-minute drought. The Lady Warriors were able to take advantage and get back in the game, trailing 10-7.
But a huge shot in the paint from Alexus Buckelew allowed Good Hope to move the lead to 18-7 by the 5:00 mark. The half ended with the Lady Raiders leading 23-9.
Kent and point guard Savanna Derrick scored early in the final half, extending the lead to 27-9. A basket from Abby Neighbors with 5:40 remaining lifted Good Hope to a 33-14 cushion.
Buckelew netted her second field goal, this one with 4:18 to go and the lead for the Lady Raiders was at 35-14.
Good Hope is an experienced team after a strong late season run in the playoffs got the Lady Raiders to the 4A Northwest Regional at Wallace State.
Kent, Derrick, Erika Woodall, Leyton Seal, Chrissi Smith, Amber Sterling and Charis Peek are eager to take the momentum from the postseason into full season when the regular schedule tips off in early November.
Good Hope had a solid start in the game with DAR, before the offense began to show signs of inconsistency. DAR outscored Good Hope 9-2 in the final 5:00 of the first half, overcoming a deficit and taking a 20-15 advantage at intermission.
The offense was never able to find the rhythm it needed. Good shots were taken by Good Hope, but the ball was not going into the basket.
The Lady Raiders did not score in the final 9:00 after a 3-point play from Derrick closed the margin to 34-23.
DAR produced an 11-0 run, joining West Point as a 2-0 participant on the Falkville High School campus. Good Hope's 1-2 record was the same as Colbert County's.
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