Photo: Coosa Christian Bella Millirons (33) attempts a shot between Spring Garden’s Kayley Kirk (left) and Macy Reedy during the Lady Conquerors’ 71-47 loss in girls basketball last Tuesday (Dec. 17) in Gadsden. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Coosa Christian girls basketball team hung with the state top-ranked team for the better part of three quarters, but Spring Garden possessed a little too much firepower down the stretch last Tuesday (Dec. 17) in Gadsden.
After trailing by as much as 12 points in the first half, the Lady Conquerors closed within 40-32 on Bella Millirons’ layup midway through the third quarter.
But the visitors finished out the period on a 15-5 run, and Coosa scored from the field just twice over the final eight minutes on the way to a 71-47 loss in Class 1A, Area 11 action at The Coliseum.
“We started pressing mentally a little bit towards the end, and [Spring Garden did a really good job defensively,” said Coosa head coach Jayme Hollingsworth. “We rushed our shots and I did a poor job of getting us into a position to score. We need to work on spreading the floor a little bit better and get the ball to our scorers.”
Millirons led Coosa with 17 points, followed by India Brown with 16 and Kaylee Hasley with 11.
Jaci Austin scored 22 points for Spring Garden (9-1), while Abbey Steward, Macy Reed and Neely Welsh each had nine.
The Lady Conquerors (3-1, 0-1) were back on its heels in the early going, as Spring Garden raced out a 10-1 lead en route to a 16-4 advantage after one quarter.
“We were overthinking and trying to do too much,” said Hollingsworth. “We made a few defensive swaps after that, and I thought we competed a lot better in the second quarter.”
A 14-8 stretch by Coosa that was capped by Hasley’s three-point basket trimmed the deficit to 24-18 with 2:17 left in the first half. Millirons’ basket with 27 seconds remaining narrowed the gap to 32-22 at halftime.
Six points each from Millirons and India Brown helped keep the hosts relatively close during the third quarter, but a pair of three-pointers from Steward in the final minute of the period placed Coosa in a 55-37 hole. The Lady Conquerors never got within 18 points the rest of the way.
The final score notwithstanding, Hollingsworth was pleased with his team’s effort against the cream of the crop in Class 1A.
“[Spring Garden] is the No. 1 team in the state for a reason, but I thought we played hard and played fearless.”