Trinity knocks off Elba in 3A action

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 24, 2000

Sports Writer

Reports of the Trinity Wildcats demise have been greatly exaggerated.

The defending class 3A state champions haven’t been particularly dominant this season, but Wednesday afternoon the Wildcats were able to handle Elba and player of the year finalist Tim Ware, defeating the Tigers 61-56.

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"We just underestimated them," said Ware. "We’ve beat some pretty good teams this year, some of the top teams in the state, but they (Trinity) were a lot better then we thought. They’re a tough team."

Trinity’s Brett Eddins hung around long enough to ensure the Wildcat’s victory. Eddins fouled out of the game with 1:31 left in the game, but the Wildcats were up by five, 53-48, and his teammates were able to break Elba’s press and score some easy layups in the last minute.

"They lost big Eddins underneath," said Ware. "But the rest of them picked up their game. They’ve got a lot of heart."

The Tigers were down eight at the half, but came back in the second pulling within four toward the end of the third, 41-37 with momentum on their side. But Oliver McLemore banked in a one-handed three point shot as time expired to push the Wildcats lead back to seven.

In the fourth quarter the Tigers pulled within one, at 49-48, Ware’s outside jumper with 2:25 remaining.

But the Wildcats free throw shooting toward the end of the game proved to be the difference.

"They (Trinity) hit 6/7 free throws toward the end and that just killed us," Tigers head coach Johnny Dunn said. "But we were playing catch up the entire game and that’s just hard to do."

Briarwood Christian 63, Clayton 55 (Boys 3A)

Clayton held several double digit leads during the game, but there was no quit in Briarwood Christian as the Lions battled back in the fourth quarter to beat the Tigers 63-55.

Stephen Briggs only shot one 3-pointer in the game but it was perfect to give Briarwood Christian the lead 57-54 with just 1:14 left in the game. The Lions then finished Clayton off with a 6-1 run to end the game.

Clayton had led for virtually the entire game before Briggs 3-pointer.

The Lions were led by Jason Reese with 22 points, followed by Maddox Casey with 13 and Jared Roberts with 10.

LaKeith Person scored 26 for Clayton with Charles Rogers adding 13 and Kevin McKinnon 12 points.

Briarwood Christian will play Trinity at 8:45 pm on Friday for the regional championship.

Trinity 45, Slocomb 33 (Girls 3A)

The Lady Wildcats of Trinity beat Slocomb 45-33 to advance to the regional final against Montgomery Academy.

The Redtops held a 11-5 lead at the end of the first, but Trinity responded in the second quarter to take a 21-19 lead at the half. In the third quarter, the Lady Wildcats ran away from Slocomb, scoring 16 points to the Redtops one.

Trinity placed three players in double figures, while allowing no single Slocomb player to get more then eight points. Martha Phillips had 14 points for the Lady Wildcats, while Angela Hughley had 12 and Jamie Ferguson had 10.

Montgomery Academy 55, Calhoun 50 (Girls 3A)

In what was a matchup between two of the top ten teams in girls class 3A, Montgomery Academy did what few teams could do this season, halting a juggernaught of a team in the Calhoun Lady Tigers, 55-50.

Montgomery Academy advances to play Trinity Friday night at 7:00 pm.

The Eagles shot 41% for the game, while holding the Lady Tigers to just 24% from the floor. The Eagles also outrebounded Calhoun, hauling in 55 boards to just 40 for the Lady Tigers.

Joi Anderson was a big reason the Eagles held rebound advantage, pulling in 15 boards by herself and scoring 15 points to lead Montgomery Academy. Walton Upchurch followed with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Katrina Crabtree of Calhoun matched Anderson rebound for rebound and point for point, with 15 points and 15 boards in a losing effort.

Lafayette 62, Headland 60 (Boys 4A)

MeCose Todd put in a layup with no time left on the clock to give Lafyaette the win over the Headland Rams.

Down 60-53 with 3:28 remaining, the Bulldogs scored the last nine points of the game and advanced to face the winner of the Abbeville-Central game Friday.

The Rams had led by as much as ten points in the second half, despite being out rebounded in the game by Lafayette an amazing 50-29.

Of the Bulldogs 50 rebounds, Ira Bledsoe had 18 to go along with his team-leading 20 points. MeCose Todd had 19 points, including the game winner.

Curtis Reynolds had 21 points to lead Headland with Michael Ward following with 10.

Dadeville 46, Geneva 42 (Girls 4A)

In a tight game to the finish, the Dadeville Lady Tigers held off a late Geneva charge to defeat the Panthers, 46-42.

The Lady Tigers were up 19-10 at the half, but in the fourth quarter two free throws by Karla Huguley and a jumper by Kala Peak gave Geneva a 35-32 lead with 4:45 left in the game.

Each team then swapped the lead six times, before Dadeville’s Amanda Tolbert scored two and Jennifer Higgins stole the ball and drove to the hoop for an easy layup to put the Lady Tigers up 44-39 with just over a minute to play.

Tolbert led the Lady Tigers with 17 points with Higgins behind her with 16.

Geneva was led by Huguley, who finished the game with 16 points and Peak, with 11 points and 10 rebounds.