By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Gaston weathered a sluggish third quarter to defeat Woodville, 47-31, in Northeast Regional semi-final basketball action on Feb. 21 at Jacksonville State University.
The potent Gaston offense fell flat in the third quarter, scoring only five points.
“They went to a man defense in the second half,” Gaston head coach Tonya Bogle said. “We were still getting off good shots they just weren’t falling. We are more versatile when we move the ball around so I slowed our offense down. That was probably a mistake, but I wanted us to pick and choose where we shot the ball and not rush our offense.”
The Lady Bulldogs found their range in the final frame tallying 20 points.
Morgan Beaird connected on 5-of-6 free throws in the final 40 seconds to seal the win. Beaird scored 10 of her 17 points in the second half.
Gaston came out of the shoot firing the longball.
Tanna Lawson opened the game with a 3-point shot and the Lady Dawgs never trailed. Gaston led 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
“Tanna’s 3-pointer broke them,” Bogle said. “She really stepped up in the third quarter for us.”
The Lady Dawgs dominated the first half, and led 22-12 at intermission.
Beaird led the Bulldog charge with 17 points and six rebounds, followed by Lawson with 13. Felicia Porter scored 11 points and pulled 17 rebounds for the Lady Dawgs.
Bogle praised the play of Porter, who scored 11 points and pulled 17 rebounds.
“She is quiet and does a great job on the post. Her long arms and height really help her out there. She made all the difference for us tonight with her rebounding.”
Gaston (17-7) will face Ragland (22-10) Friday, Feb. 24 at 6:20 p.m. for the Class 1A Northeast Regional girls basketball championship. The winner will go on to Birmingham to compete for the Class 1A state championship.
Photo: Gaston forward Felicia Porter (14) shoots over Woodville’s Emily Huston in Class 1A Northeast Regional basketball action on Feb. 21. Porter was influential in the Lady Dawgs’ win, scoring 11 points while pulling 17 rebounds. Photo by Joshua Price/Messenger.