Winterboro earns 3rd straight area crown
by LAVONTE YOUNG
ALPINE- The Winterboro Lady Bulldogs won their third straight Class 1A Area 7 crown with a 49-29 victory over TC Central on Saturday.

“I thought our girls came out with the plan of being consistent for four quarters,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith said. “I have seen spurts of it and we really played a good ball game tonight. We utilized all five players and we didn’t rely on one person tonight, even though Jasmine had 20. The presence, passing, the hustle of our post players, and boxing out doesn’t go on the stat chart. It was an overall team effort and I applaud our girls for the win tonight.”

The first quarter gave the feel that it was going to be a typical match between the rivals. Both teams had problems scoring in the first quarter.

Savonna Garrett gave TC an 8-6 lead on a putback after missed free throw. Morgan Merritt gave the Lady Bulldogs a 9-8 lead with a 3-pointer.

Winterboro opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run. Jasmine Richardson got the run started with a layup to make it 11-8. Tiffany Vincent’s putback gave the Lady Bulldogs a 13-11 lead. The Winterboro run was capped off by a layup by Channel Phillips off the Richardson’s assist to increase their lead to 18-10.

Destinee Garrett ended the run by banking a 3-pointer in from the right wing to make it 18-13. Winterboro took a 24-15 lead into halftime.

The third quarter belonged to Richardson, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

Richardson scored the first seven points of the quarter. After blocking a TC Central player’s layup up attempt, Richardson drove down the court for a layup. On Winterboro’s ensuing possession Anslea Twymon drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Lady Bulldogs a 34-18 lead.

TC on the other hand struggled putting the ball in the hoop, as they only managed to score seven points in the third quarter. Richardson ended the quarter with a floater to give Winterboro a 40-22 advantage going into the final period.

“Some coaches believes defense wins ball games, I don’t necessarily believe that because it takes a lot of time to focus on offense,” Smith said. “We have been getting back to the defensive side because I have been focusing on offense. It has really been showing the last few practices. Our press, we had to get back to that, because you know no games ends 0-0. Somebody has to score. That loss we had to Notasuluga, out girls have really came out and answered the call when comes to playing smart defense.”

Richardson led all scorers with 20 points. Her three-point play put Winterboro up 43-23. Winterboro held on to a 20-point lead the entire quarter.

“I feel like we played hard,” Richardson said. “We beat them by 20 like we wanted. I am happy that I got MVP. We came out here and played our game. I am proud of my team. If wasn’t for team and my coach I wouldn’t be here. Now it is time for the regionals.”

Smith said he has several girls that are MVPs on his team, but he believes that Richardson is the best player in Class 1A.

“I really think she is the 1A Player of the Year,” Smith said. “I am on the record saying that and we don’t get no respect on a national aspect. We have players down here at Winterboro and we have players down here in Talladega County. My thing is if she wants it, now is the time to let every one know that you are the 1A Player of the Year. If I don’t score 20 or 20 points a game, I am going to get on the assist board, rebound board and steals. She has answered the call and when Jasmine graduates we have some more coming behind her. I feel very confident in our program and our team. Jasmine is a player that I am glad to have on my team.”

The TC Central Lady Fighting Tigers were upset about losing the area championship, but now they are focused on preparing for their sub-regional match on Thursday.

“It wasn’t a typical TC-Winterboro game, but our hats are off to Coach Smith and Winterboro,” Duncan said. “They did a great job and I congratulate them on being Area 7 champs. I am certainly thankful for our girls and the hard work they put in. We understand that this is not the end of the road. We still have the same opportunity that we had before this game. Our girls understand that, we are going to keep our heads up and get ready for Thursday.”

TC will travel to Loachapoka and Winterboro will play Notasulga on Thursday.

Smith hopes the Dawg Pound will be as loud as they were against TC on Thursday.

“I want to thank all the fans that came out,” Smith said. “It was lovely. The 1990’s coach came out Coach Briskey. A lot of his former players came out tonight. The fans came out tonight and they were a real threat tonight. The girls love the support when it is for four quarters. Big shout out to the fans tonight.”

Savonna Garrett, Zana Wallace and Tiarrial Duncan represented TC Central. Channel Phillips, Anslea Twymon, Taneasha Merritt represented Winterboro. Jade Brasher and Brittney Snyder represented Fayetteville. Hollis Mims represent Westminster Oak Mountain.

Jasmine Richardson earned Most Outstanding Player for the tournament.

© 2013