Final Four: Lady Trojans lose to Pleasant Grove in girls semifinals

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Lady Trojans’ 2022-2023 season came to an end with a 68-38 loss to the Pleasant Grove Lady Spartans in the Class 5A Girls State Semifinals on March 1 in Birmingham.

After Pleasant Grove jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, Charles Henderson’s Takeiya Brockton knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to 4-3 with 6:34 left in the first quarter. After another 4-0 Pleasant Grove run, Harmony Hubbard knocked down a three to cut the lead to 8-6 with 3:36 left in the opening period.

Following a Lady Spartan jumper, KK Hobdy hit a three to cut the lead to 10-9 with 2:30 left in the first quarter. Pleasant Grove was able to hang on to a 12-11 lead going into the second.

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To open the second period, Brockton knocked down a three to give the Lady Trojans their first lead of the game 14-12. Pleasant Grove then began to take over and finished the final 5:09 of the half on a 15-2 run to take a 34-20 lead into halftime.

Pleasant Grove jumpstarted the second half with a 5-0 run and eventually stretched the lead out to 44-22 with 5:05 left. The Lady Trojans went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 44-28 with 1:54 left in the period, but Pleasant Grove finished the period on a 4-0 run to take a 48-28 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Spartans also outscored the Lady Trojans 20-10 in the fourth quarter.

“We came a long way, we started 0-2 in the conference and ended up Area Champions and went from there,” CHHS Coach Dyneshia Jones said. “Overall, I’m proud of them. The score doesn’t show how proud I am but I am very proud of these girls.”

Charles Henderson shot just 26 percent from the field and turned the ball over 24 times, while Pleasant Grove won the rebound battle 42-36. Hobdy led CHHS with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two steals, while Harmony Hubbard added nine points and three rebounds.

Hobdy has been playing on the Lady Trojan varsity team since she was a seventh grader and Jones said it was hard to put into words what she has meant to the program.

“She was a little firecracker in the seventh grade,” Jones said with a smile. “She’s been (to the Final Four) five or six times, she’s meant a lot. She has great work ethic and she understands the game. She plays very, very smart and I could possibly use her in every position, 1-5, on the court.”

Despite the loss of seniors like Hobdy and Deanna Gosha, a number of young players will be back next season and Jones had a message for the returners.

“We just need to get them back in the gym,” she emphasized. “I told them in the locker room, ‘The way you feel right now, just remember that. We have to continue to work hard and you don’t want to feel this again.’”