By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
The Coosa Christian Lady Conquerors connected on nine 3-pointers en route to the first area basketball tournament championship in program history in a 59-51 win over Appalachian on Feb. 9 in Gadsden.
The Lady Conquerors improved to 17-4 on the season and will host a sub-region game against Jacksonville Christian on Monday (Feb. 13) at The Coliseum.
Coosa never trailed and had a double-digit lead by the fourth quarter. But the Lady Eagles made a late run cut the deficit to 52-46 with 1:36 to play.
On the Lady Conquerors’ next possession, however, Ashton Mills hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game and Coosa held on for the victory.
Mills scored 17 points on the night, and Coosa Christian coach Jayme Hollingsworth said that her outside shooting was benefited the team all season.
“We’ve lost one game since we put Ashton in the starting lineup. She just gives us a great offensive option because she can shoot. She does a good job of drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. She helps us on defense, and tonight she was huge from the deep shot and that proved to be a big deal for us.”
Coosa led 20-11 after the first quarter and carried a 37-22 lead into halftime.
Samara Brewster led the Lady Conquerors with 19 points and was named Tournament MVP. Hollingsworth said her rebounding ability was critical for Coosa’s success.
“We always want to make our shots,” he said. “But it’s always part of our game plan if we don’t make our shots that she’s in position to get an offensive rebound and a put-back,
and I thought she did a phenomenal job doing that tonight. Converting after her offensive rebounds was huge for us tonight.”
Coosa guard Claire Davidson was held to only three points on the night – which all came on free throws in the last minute of the game – but Hollingsworth said her defense still made a difference in the game.
“The good thing about Claire is that she never stopped playing intense defense,” he said. “That really helped our team get going. Sometimes players have off nights, and it was really our senior leaders that stepped up tonight. Samara Brewster was massive for us. Neely Evetts made huge shots for us in the first half that really helped us get off to a good lead. Mary Beth Williamson really took care of the ball tonight.”
Davidson and Mills were also named to the All-Tournament Team for Coosa.
“Getting to host and holding home court going into the regionals is a huge deal,” Hollingsworth said. “We’re keeping out feet on the ground one game at a time.”