By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
The Hokes Bluff girls used a potent 1-2 scoring punch to take out Southside in the championship game of the Etowah County Basketball Tournament on Friday (Jan. 17) at Gadsden State.
Veteran guards Hannah Evans and Carlie Shields accounted for 35 of their team’s points in the Class 4A, No. 10 Lady Eagles’ 44-36 win.
Evans and Shields were named tournament co-MVPs.
“This was a great win for us,” said Hokes Bluff head coach Jason Shields. “We did what we had to do to win, and Hannah and Carlie brought it home. [Southside] Coach [Kim] Nails did an excellent job having her team ready to play, as usual. I’m just proud of our team.”
The Lady Panthers (8-10) scored the game’s first five points, but Hokes Bluff came back with back-to-back 3-point baskets from Evans and Shields to take the lead at 6-5.
Southside’s Hunter Ashcraft scored a basket with nine seconds left in the first quarter to tie it at 9-9.
The teams traded 3-pointers to open the second quarter, then traded baskets to tie it at 14-14.
After a pair of free throws by Southside’s Mallary Smith, Evans hit a 3-pointer to give the Eagles the lead for good at 17-16. Hokes Bluff held a 20-16 halftime advantage.
The Lady Eagles(17-4) held a 35-23 lead after three quarters, and Southside could not get within six points down the stretch.
Evans led Hokes Bluff with 25 points, followed by Shields with 10.
Blakely Alfred scored 12 points for the Lady Panthers.
Joining Evans and Shields on the all-tournament team were Kendall Johnson and Chelsea Machleit from Hokes Bluff; Blakely Alfred, Lindsey Hindsman and Hunter Ashcraft from Southside; Sally Tinker and Kaileigh Billingsley from Glencoe; Kacee Mashburn and Selena Tarvin from Sardis; Destiny Allen from Gaston; and Brittany Self from West End.