Photo: Kanecia Payne (pictured at center) and the Gadsden State womens basketball team lost to Wallace-Hanceville, 68-60, in the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament quarterfinals last Wednesday (Mar. 6) at Lawson State in Birmingham. (Courtesy of Gadsden State)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Poor shooting and foul trouble plagued the Gadsden State womens basketball team in the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday (Mar. 6) in Birmingham, as the Lady Cardinals’ season ended with a 68-60 loss to Wallace-Hanceville at Lawson State.
The teams combined for 40 fouls and visited the free throw line 59 times. The Lady Cardinals shot 53 percent (18-for-34) from the charity stripe.
Gadsden State head coach Marty Dixon said that the chi-ppy nature of the game was intentional on the part of the Lady Cardinals.
“We were down to eight players in the rotation, so our goal was to make [the game] as ugly as possible and play at a speed that we were effective at. I think we did a good job with that; we just couldn’t make any shots. Wallace guarded us hard on the perimeter so we tried to go to the rim with it. We had a done of [chances] around the goal, and nobody could finish. And to be successful in every game, you’ve got to shoot at least 70 percent from the free throw line.”
The Lady Cardinals, whose last lead of the game came at 8-6 early in the first quarter, shot 33 percent (20-for-61) from the field. The perimeter game was almost non-existent, as Gadsden State connected on only two of 12 attempts from downtown.
Kaylan Hines paced Gadsden State with 14 points, followed by Dalayiah Crawford and Kanecia Payne with 12 each. Morgan Frazier chipped in eight points, while Morgan Blalock finished with seven.
Crawford pulled down 11 rebounds, while Payne grabbed nine. Blalock distributed five assists.
After coming out of the first quarter ahead 18-10, Wallace-Hanceville built a 31-18 lead with just under six minutes left in the first half. But helped by six points from Hines, Gadsden State drew within 34-25 at intermission.
The Lady Cardinals remained within striking distance through the third period, with Maya Langham’s basket at 3:38 narrowing the gap to seven points. But Gadsden State would get no closer the rest of the way, and the Lady Lions regained the double-digit lead at 49-38 after three quarters of action.
Several Lady Cardinals got into foul trouble during the final 10 minutes, helping Wallace-Hanceville pad its lead to as much as 16 points.
Morgan Frazier’s three-point basket with 48 seconds left pulled GSCC within 64-56 but once more, the Lady Cardinals failed to generate a scoring run.
“With eight players, you just can’t roll them in and out,” said Dixon. “Everyone seemed to get their third foul at about the same time, but we had to keep them out there.”
Imari Martin led the Lady Lions with 15 points, followed by Kyra Williams with 11 and Channing Gafford with 10.
“We felt like we were in the game the whole time,” said Dixon. “We would have won if we made more layups and hit our free throws.”