Warrior girls finish perfect season

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2004

The Warrior Academy girls basketball team, a year after a last-second championship loss, won’t have to sit in class, stare at the window and think about a freshly ended season.

The Braves won’t have to listen to a lecture or evaluate math formulas.

“We’re sleeping in,” junior Ashton Lee said after Warrior won the AISA Class A championship with a 44-35 victory over Marion Military at Delchamps Student Center.

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Classes are canceled today after the Braves finished a perfect season and avoided a repeat of last year’s upset loss.

Warrior (27-0) grabbed a 13-point lead in the first six minutes and beat the Tigers (20-6) for the fourth time this year.

It’s a distinct departure from last year when Sparta Academy hit a 3-pointer with one second left for a one-point win in the finals. It was Warrior’s only loss.

“None of us wanted to talk for a few days,” guard Brenna Lashley said, “but everybody kept bringing it up.”

Lee and guard Tara Porter huddled in the locker room after last year’s loss. They tearfully talked about a return trip.

“We were pretty upset,” Porter said. “We were saying it in anger, but we said we wanted to come back and win it all.”

Lashley scored 12 points, Porter added 11 and Jeannie Colson had 10 to help the Braves win their second state championship, while Lee helped shut down MMI center Felecia Sprott in the second half.

Sprott finished with a game-high 18 points, but 15 were in the first half. The 6-foot-2 sophomore managed only one field-goal attempt after halftime.

“It’s hard to stop her completely,” Warrior coach Robert Jarvis said. “A couple of times the ball came right to her on a rebound and you can’t do anything about that.”

Today, Lashley planned to sleep until 10 a.m., while Porter said her goal was noon. Lee? Don’t call before 2

“We’ll have to get up at some point because we have softball practice,” Porter said. “We’ve got a game Monday.”

Warrior: Brenna Lashley (MVP), Ashton Lee, Tara Porter; Marion Military: Felecia Sprott, Yolanda Kelly; Lakeside: Jeanie Sleadd; Coosa Valley: Kirby Johnson.