Poor shooting, turnovers doom Lady Jackets in area championship game

 Glencoe High’s Jordan Sims (left) moves against Ashville’s Autumn Swearengin during the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 46-32 loss to Ashville in the championship game of the Class 3A, Area 9 Basketball Tournament on Monday (Feb. 11) at GHS.  Glencoe High’s Jordan Sims (left) moves against Ashville’s Autumn Swearengin during the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 46-32 loss to Ashville in the championship game of the Class 3A, Area 9 Basketball Tournament on Monday (Feb. 11) at GHS.

By Chris McCarthy/Editor

When you visit the free throw line 18 times less than your opponent, you’d better hope that your perimeter game is on target.

That wasn’t the case for Glencoe on Monday (Feb. 11), as spotty shooting and untimely turnovers helped send the Lady Yellow Jackets to a 46-32 loss at the hands of Ashville in the Class 3A, Area 9 Tournament championship game at GHS. 

In Thursday’s subregional round, Glencoe travels to Piedmont, while Ashville hosts White Plains. 

Down just four points at halftime, Glencoe (18-10) quickly fell behind by double digits when the No. 8 Lady Bulldogs (26-3) opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run.

The Lady Jackets entered the fourth quarter trailing 37-25, but the closest Glencoe got was within nine points on Morgan Lykes 3-point basket at 6:52.

Both teams scored only twice from the field the rest of the way, but Ashville went 5-for-8 at the foul line over the final six minutes while the Lady Jackets went 0-for-4.

The Lady Bulldogs wound up shooting 61 percent (14-for-23) at the charity stripe to Glencoe’s 33 percent (2-for-6).

Sally Tinker led the Lady Yellow Jackets with 9 points, while Jordan Sims added six.

“It was a very physical game, and we’re not going to win those types of games very often,” said Glencoe head coach John Blackwell. “I thought we pounded the post pretty hard, but it’s tough when you’re out-heighted and out-sized at every position. Ashville did a good job of protecting the lane, and when we did get [inside], they blocked a lot of our shots and we turned the ball over. Ashville was just the better team tonight.” 

Glencoe’s first and last lead was at 3-2 on Laura Poovey’s three-point basket, and Ashville came out of the first quarter with an 11-7 advantage.

An 11-1 stretch during the second period made it a 10-point Bulldog lead before respective treys from Poovey and Brennan Ingram narrowed the gap to 22-18 at halftime.

The Lady Yellow Jackets’ offense went south during the third frame, however, as the hosts went scoreless until Poovey’s 3-pointer at 3:08.

The Lady Bulldogs led 31-21 by that points, and Glencoe couldn’t make up the deficit down the stretch.  

Autumn Swearengin paced Ashville with 12 points, followed by Mollie Huff with 11, Lakevia Looney with nine and Nikki Moss with eight. 

It was the fourth time in five years that Ashville hoisted the first-place area tournament trophy. Hokes Bluff won the tournament last season.

“We made a big effort to try to stay out on the ‘3,’ said Ashville head coach Dale Beason. “When you give Glencoe any kind of crease out there, they’re going to knock down some shots. Sometimes we don’t think a lot in crucial situations, but I’ve never doubted the effort of this team.”

In the tournament semifinals on Feb. 7, Glencoe defeated Susan Moore, 35-31, while Ashville beat Cleveland, 54-26.

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