It had been four years since the Lady Bulldogs from Ashville could boast about being county champions.
Now, the long drought is over — Ashville defeated Springville 41-32 Saturday in the title game of the St. Clair County Basketball Tournament. It is the fourth time this season the Lady Bulldogs defeated Springville.
Ragland 54, SCCHS 31
Ragland took care of business in the opening round of the tournament by beating the Lady Saints from St. Clair County 54-31.
The Lady Purple Devils opened the game on a 9-2 run and never looked back. By the time the first quarter came to a close, Ragland led 21-6.
By halftime, the Lady Purple Devils’ lead was 33-16. Ragland won the scoring battle in the third stanza 10-4 to make it 43-30, and went on to win the game 54-31.
Leading the Lady Purple Devils was Kailey Echols with 15 points. Belle McKinney pumped in 13 points while Callie Kay scored eight points. Kerston Looney netted six points. Kia Lindsay and Leah Byers scored five points each.
Leading the Lady Saints was Moniqua Byers with seven points. Kyla Robinette added six points while Brianna Clark scored five points. Nadiua Scroggins and Destiny England had four points each.
Ashville 61, Ragland 41
The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the championship game with a 61-41 victory over Ragland.
Ashville started the game on a 5-0 run, and stretched the lead to 17-6. Ragland went on a 7-0 run to cut into the Ashville lead to make it 17-13.
By the end of the first quarter, Ashville was up 21-18.
Leading 25-22, Ashville’s Chatara Stoudmire drilled a trey to make it 28-22. She then stole the ball and hit a layup to make it 30-22. The halftime score was 32-24.
The Lady Bulldogs opened the second half on a 9-0 run to make it 41-24 with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. The score was 49-28 after three quarters of play, and they went on to win the game 61-41.
Anika Bothwell had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Nikki Moss pumped in 10 points and pulled down eight boards. Mollie Huff, Lakeivia Looney and Stoudmire all had nine points. Autumn Swearengin was busy all over the court as she scored six points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked nine shots. Kelcie Cross scored three points while Hannah Ashley chipped in two points and blocked five shots.
Kailey Echols led Ragland and all scorers with 23 points. Kia Lindsay added 10 points while Belle McKinney scored three points. Callie Kay had two points.
Springville 41, Moody 29
Springville advanced to play Ashville in the title game with a 41-29 victory over Moody.
The game stayed 3-3 for most of the first quarter, with Springville finally pulling ahead 9-6. The Lady Tigers opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run to make the score 17-6.
The Lady Blue Devils finally scored on a free throw by Payton Swisher to make it 17-7 with 2:31 remaining before halftime. The score at the break was 23-13.
The second half was much closer with the Lady Tigers edging Moody in scoring, 18-17, to make the final score 41-29.
Leading Springville and the only player in double figures in the game was Jaylyn Felder with 12 points. Kate Riker pumped in nine points while Ashleigh Tremble contributed eight points. Jaclyn DuPre and Hannah Long scored five points each. Kylee Kimbrough scored two points.
Leading Moody was Alexus Martin with nine points. Micaela Robinson and Swisher scored seven points each while Ashton Gibson added three points. Kayla Luster netted two points while Sarah Crutchfield had one point.
Ashville 41, Springville 32
It was the fourth meeting of the year between the two teams. And this end result was like the other three — an Ashville victory, 41-32.
Ashville opened the game by scoring the first six points before Springville coach Warren House called timeout with 4:33 left in the opening stanza.
Springville had still not scored with 2:40 left. Finally, with 1:04 remaining in the first quarter, Jalyn Felder hit two free throws to make it 6-2. By the time the first quarter came to a close, Ashville led 8-3.
The three points by the Lady Tigers were free throws.
With 5:51 remaining in the second quarter, Springville’s Hannah Long made the team’s first field goal and was fouled. She converted the three-point play to make the score 11-6.
The Lady Tigers went on a 7-4 run to cut the Ashville lead to 15-13 with 31 seconds left in the first half.
By halftime, the Ashville lead was 18-13.
The third quarter was fairly even with the Lady Bulldogs winning the scoring battle 12-11 to make it 30-24 headed into the fourth quarter.
Throughout the first five minutes of the final quarter, Ashville padded its lead on a 10-3 run to make the score 40-27. The final score was 41-32.
Looney led Ashville with 11 points. Moss and Swearengin pumped in eight points each while Huff totaled six points. Bothwell and Stoudmire scored four points each.
Ashville coach Dale Beason said it was a different kind of game than his team had played with Springville all season.
“We were just glad to win,” Beason said.
Ashville improved to 22-2 on the season.
House said his girls hit only eight of 71 shots from the field.
Leading the Lady Tigers was London Coleman with 11 points. Long and Felder scored six points each while Tremble netted five points. Riker and Chelsea Eldridge had two points each.
Making the All-Tournament Team were MVP Lakeivia Looney from Ashville, along with her teammates Autumn Swearengin, Nikki Moss, Anika Bothwell and Mollie Huff; Hannah Long, Kate Riker and Ashleigh Tremble from Springville; Payton Swisher and Sarah Crutchfield from Moody; Kailey Echols and Kia Lindsay from Ragland; and Moniqua Byers from SCCHS.