Gaston falls to Ragland in area title game

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By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent 

The Ragland Lady Devils defeated Gaston, 55-42, in the Class 1A, Area 11 girls basketball tournament finals on Saturday.

The Lady Bulldogs travel to Donoho for Thursday’s subregional round. 

Gaston head coach Tonya Bogle was both happy and somewhat disappointed with her team’s effort. 

“We had some mental breakdowns. We got the shots we get every game, they were just not falling.”

The taller Lady Purple Devils worked the ball inside with great success in building a 19-3 first quarter lead. 

Tanna Lawson hit two big three-pointers to cut the Ragland lead to 19-9 at the quarter’s end.

Ragland was able to work the ball inside to tourney MVP Kailey Echols, who scored and was fouled. Her resulting free throw gave Ragland a lead it never relinquished. 

Ragland took a five-point lead on a bucket by J.J. Looney. 

Morgan Beaird hit her first three-pointer to cut the lead to 5-3, but the Lady Devils went on a 14-0 run to build their lead to19-3. Belle McKinney scored eight points and Echols added seven points in the opening period.

Ragland increased its lead to 28-16 at the half and 38-22 after three quarters. 

Behind the shooting of Beaird, Gaston made a comeback attempt and cut the Ragland lead to 44-40 with 3:00 remaining. But the visitors closed out the game with an 11-2 run. Beaird scored a game-high 22 points. 

McKinney led Ragland with 18 points, while Tourney MVP Kailey Echols added 14.

Gaston’s Beaird, Lawson and Abby Elrod were named to the All-Tournament team, along with Hannah Meadows and Karla Bruce from Coosa Christian. 

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