By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
A tightly contested first half turned into a blowout in the third quarter as the Gadsden City High Lady Titans stormed past the Paul Bryant Lady Stampede 55-34 last Tuesday (Jan. 30) in Gadsden.
The Lady Titans led 13-11 after the first period and amped up their defense and only allowed nine points over the next two quarters. Gadsden City carried a 21-16 lead into the locker room, and the shots started to fall in the second half for the Lady Titans.
Darrelyn Rudolph led the scoring barrage with two 3-pointers in the third quarter, while Mya Davis scored six points in the first three minutes out of halftime. Karissa Spade had two steals, two rebounds and two assists during an 18-2 run for the Lady Titans.
The Lady Stampede could only close the gap to 11 points in the fourth quarter, and it was too late as Gadsden City cruised to its second straight victory.
Gadsden City head coach Jeremy Brooks said his team’s matchup zone defense has improved over the last few weeks and that it has given opposing offenses some trouble.
“Our zone defensively we’ve been pretty good here lately,” Brooks said. “We run the Syracuse zone, and we’ve put a lot of time and effort into it. That hasn’t been our problem. We’ve had trouble scoring, and we made enough baskets tonight to get a lead.”
Brooks said the offense finally found a rhythm in the second half, which allowed him to play everyone on Senior Night.
“When you make a few shots that can lead to a few more,” he said. “The first half offensively we didn’t any flow or rhythm. It was really choppy. We just weren’t in synch. It was just a good senior night and it allowed us to play a lot people.”
Rudolph led the Lady Titans with 13 points on senior night in her final regular season home game. Davis and Cianni Rhodes both chipped in eight points. Paul Bryant’s JaKina Hines led all scorers with 15 points.
The Lady Titans have a week to prepare for the area tournament, and they will travel to take on Hewitt-Trussville on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. Gadsden City must defeat the Lady Huskies to advance to the sub-regional round.
Brooks said his team is currently playing better than it has all year heading into the postseason.
“We’ve got two wins in a row now, and even the one or two losses we had before that, we played pretty well,” he said. “This year, we’ve had a few points where we really struggled, so any type of momentum you can take into the playoffs is pretty good.”