By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
Gadsden State gave Shelton State a run for its money in the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament semifinals last Tuesday (Mar. 5), but the top-seeded Lady Bucs held on for an 80-67 victory in women’s basketball at Wallace State-Hanceville.
The Lady Cardinals ended their season at 24-8. It was third time this season that GSCC lost to Shelton.
Gadsden State jumped out to an early 16-10 lead before the Lady Bucs took a 42-29 lead at halftime.
A 13-2 run in the second half brought the Lady Cardinals within 61-58 with just under four minutes to go, but the Tuscaloosa squad outscored Gadsden State 19-6 down the stretch to secure the win.
Lacey Buchanon paced the Lady Cardinals with 29 points, followed by Taylor Adams, Tiakeefah Hughley and Calisha Parker with seven each.
Adams pulled down eight rebounds, while Beaty and Buchanon each grabbed five.
Against Chattahoochee Valley in the tournament quarterfinals, Buchanon’s basket with four seconds left in regulation gave the Lady Cardinals a 71-69 victory.
With Gadsden State coming out of intermission trailing 31-29, the second half began with Buchanon burying a three-pointer to give the Lady Cardinals a one-point advantage.
Buchanon, who had been held scoreless over the first 20 minutes of play, finished with 13 points.
The game went back and forth over several until a 10-2 Lady Pirate run resulted in an eight-point GSCC deficit with 4:31 remaining.
The Lady Cardinals soon put together a run of their own, however, cutting the Chattahoochee Valley lead to 69-67 with 2:07 remaining.
But Sheyene Turner tied the game at 69-69 with a field goal with 58 seconds remaining, and Chattahoochee Valley turned the ball over with 30 seconds to go.
Gadsden State head coach John Butts called timeout to set up a final play. Buchanon took the ball and dribbled the ball at the head of the key, running off precious seconds.
The freshman point guard made her move with 10 seconds remaining, driving the lane and banking in a shot with less than one second remaining.
“Lacey wanted the ball in that situation, said Butts. “She’s a special player and a good point guard. Chattahoochee Valley is greatly improved, and we had a fight on our hands Turner led the Lady Cardinals with 17 points, followed by Adams with 15, Buchanon with 13 and Hughley and Jasmyne Reeves with 10 each.
Adams cleared eight rebounds, while Lacy Huckabee grabbed six.
The Phenix City squad scored the games first nine points over the opening four minutes.
Following a timeout, however, Gadsden State settled down and eventually built a six-point lead with eight minutes to go in the first half.
The game went back and forth during the remainder of the first half, with Chattahoochee Valley taking a one-point lead into the dressing room.
Braxtyn Talton scored 18 points for Chattahoochee Valley, while Alexandra Tise added 12.
In a tournament play-in game on Sunday (Mar. 3), Buchanon scored 19 points to help Gadsden State Lady post a 60-45 victory over Bishop State.
Trailing 22-21 at halftime, Gadsden State took the lead for good with a 19-4 run over the first eight minutes of the second half.
Turner added nine points for the Lady Cardinals, followed by Huguley and Huckabee with eight each. Adams added seven points and seven rebounds, while Reeves pulled down eight rebounds.
Chris McCarthy contributed to this story.