The Lady Eagles and head coach Tammy West celebrate after defeating Red Bay in the Northwest Regional title game and advancing to the state semifinals. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Playing in Birmingham is nothing new for Cold Springs head coach Tammy West and the Lady Eagles. She has held the Class 2A State Championship trophy three times in her career, and the fifth-ranked Lady Eagles will look to take that next step toward number four when they take on the eighth-ranked G.W. Long Lady Rebels Monday at 3 p.m.
Thanks to an explosive offense and a suffocating defense, the Lady Eagles rolled into their area tournament at 21-6. They easily defeated Southeastern and Cleveland to take home the Class 2A, Area 12 title and in their sub-regional matchup against Vincent they took the game in convincing fashion, 77-31. Cold Springs then defeated Hatton 49-33 and Red Bay 54-36 to advance to Monday’s state semifinals.
The Lady Eagles have shot lights-out from behind the 3-point line all season, led by Camryn Crider, Elizabeth Hill, Toni West and Neely Ellison. On defense, it has been extremely difficult for their opponents to get things going most of the time. Cold Springs has been able to generate a lot of steals that have turned into a lot of fast-break points and will try to keep improving on that going against a very tough G.W. Long squad.
The Lady Eagles will take on a Lady Rebel squad that has an extremely tough defense of its own and has compiled a 26-5 record to this point. The Lady Rebels had to travel for their sub-regional game against Reeltown and advanced with a 50-34 win. G.W. Long then defeated Samson 50-39 and Geneva County 51-42 in the regional finals to advance to the state semifinals. The Lady Rebels have held their opponents to fewer than 42 points in their last nine games.
In order to advance to this year’s state championship game, Cold Springs has to play its game: suffocate the Lady Rebels on defense, win the rebounding battle, limit turnovers and continue to stay red-hot from behind the 3-point stripe. The Lady Eagles also need to continue knocking down their free throws and make things difficult for the Lady Rebels. If the Lady Eagles can do all of that, they’ll have a great chance to advance to the state title game on Friday.
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