By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Gadsden City High girls basketball head coach Jeremy Brooks prepared his team for the 20012-13 postseason by scheduling the finest competition the state has to offer.
The Lady Titans went up against this level of competition on Wednesday (Feb. 20), and Gadsden City ultimately fell short in a 59-54 loss to Shades Valley in the Northeast Regional Tournament Class 6A semifinals at Jacksonville State.
“We executed the majority of our game plan, but their speed and quickness hurt us,” said Brooks.
Gadsden City (22-9) held a 31-26 lead at halftime, but Shades Valley put together an 8-2 run over the first 2:22 of the third quarter to take a 34-33 lead.
“We went in and made a few adjustments, and I challenged them to play a little harder,” said Shades Valley head coach Tonya Hunter.
The Lady Mounties (31-1) led 47-44 entering the fourth quarter.
Gadsden City’s Brooke Burns tied the game at 47-47 when she nailed a 3-pointer with 7:51 to go in the contest. The Lady Titans took their final lead at 50-49 with 5:37 remaining on a lay-up by Hannah Harris.
Katelynn Thomas hit a jump shot with 4:38 to go to give Shades Valley a 51-50 lead, and the Lady Mounties closed out the scoring with an 8-4 run down the stretch.
Takara Blount offset much of Shades Valley’s speed, scoring 13 points during the first half.
The first quarter was a seesaw affair, with Shades Valley taking a brief 5-4 lead with 6:50 remaining in the opening period.
Alyah Jackson gave the Lady Titans a 14-12 lead with a lay-up with 35 seconds remaining.
After the game was tied briefly at 14-14 in the second quarter, Gadsden City went on a 6-0 run to go up 20-14. Another brief run, finished with a 3-pointer by Hannah Harris, gave the Lady Titans their biggest lead of the game at 28-20 with 1:32 to go in the first half.
Blount led Gadsden City with 13 points, followed by Dajia Williams with 12 and Hannah Harris with 11.
Frantisha Tyson paced Shades Valley with 17 points.