Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 12, 2004
Marion-The undefeated Warrior Academy Lady Braves had everything stacked against them Saturday night when they traveled to the campus of The Marion Military Institute to defend their title as West Area II Class 1A Champions against the Lady Tigers of MMI, but the Lady Braves have learned how to laugh in the face of pressure.
Trailing 37-33 with 3:54 left in regulation, the undefeated Lady Braves began their attack taking advantage of poor defense, the Lady Braves shot freely from three-point land and were able to pull with 1 point by the 2:22 mark.
Down 39-38, junior Brenna Lashley stormed to the basket for a lay-up and as the ball bounced off the glass into the hoop, Lashley hit the floor.
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The two point shot was good and Lashley was sent to the line with 1:47 on the clock for a chance to go up by 2 points. Lashley made good on the free shot and the Lady Braves held on to walk away with a 45-39 Area Championship victory to remain unbeaten.
The Lady Braves trailed throughout due to poor shooting, but once it was time to get serious, they responded and outscored the Lady Tigers 19-8 in the fourth period to preserve the win.
“It was a close one,” Lady Braves head coach Robert Jarvis said. “We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn there for a while.”
Leading the way for the Lady Braves in the championship game was freshmen Kashara Moore with 15 points. Senior Tara Porter collected 9 points as well and was awarded the MVP for the Tournament. For MMI it was Felicia Sprott who led the way with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
After beating Central Christian 37-17 on Friday night at the Ireland Activity Center the Lady Braves were forced to recon with the mighty Lady Tigers of MMI for the third time this season.
Though the Lady Braves had managed to beat the Lady tigers twice before, they knew the odds were stacked against them this time.
“Beating a team like MMI is hard enough twice, but do have to do it three times is a real challenge,” Jarvis said.
Lashley would go on to be placed upon the Area Tournament All-Area Team as she collected 12 points and 5 steals against CCA and 9 points against MMI. “Brenna really stepped up for us in the end. She is a great player who knows how to get the job done,” Jarvis said.
Girl’s All-Area Team
Marion Academy-Clara Tew
West Alabama Prep-Elaina Jennings
Central Christian Academy-Holly Carter
Marion Military Institute-Felecia Sprott and Yolanda Kelly
Warrior Academy-Branda Lashley and Keshara Moore
Area Tournament MVP- Tara Porter (Warrior Academy)