Lady Jackets fall short in regional semifinals

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Photo: Glencoe High’s Jaxson Sizemore (22) drives Susan Moore’s Kaitlyn Hill during the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 70-42 loss in the Northeast Regional Tournament Class 3A girls semifinals last Monday (Feb. 20) at Jacksonville State. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

The Glencoe High girls basketball team dug itself a hole too deep to climb out of last Monday (Feb. 20) at Jacksonville State.
Facing Susan Moore in the Northeast Regional Tournament Class 3A girls semifinals, the Lady Yellow Jackets (19-11) trailed by double digits for most of the game before eventually losing by a score of 70-42.
After Susan Moore (28-3) came out of the first quarter with an 18-5 lead, the closest Glencoe got was 25-13 after Hailey Hanners’ three-point baskets midway through the second period.
The Lady Bulldogs closed out the first half on a 15-5 run, and Glencoe never again got within striking distance. Susan Moore led 40-20 at halftime and 49-27 after three quarters.
“Susan Moore is a team that’s going to capitalize on every mistake you make,” said Glencoe head coach Blake Badgett. “It seemed like every second-chance point for them ended up with three points for them. Our margin for error was small, and [Susan Moore] capitalized on every bit of that today.”
The Lady Bulldogs’ fullcourt press led to 18 points off turnovers as compared to five for Glencoe.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a press like that my whole high school career,” said senior guard Jaxon Sizemore. “They really get after you on defense and make it tough.”
Sizemore finished with 18 points, 15 of them in the second half. She scored all seven of the Lady Yellow Jackets’ third-quarter points. Kinslee Gray added 11 points, while Hanners chipped in seven. Sizemore and Allie Jo Amos each grabbed five rebounds and Sizemore hadd four assists.
Cali Smallwood paced Susan Moore with 23 points, followed by Lani Smallwood with 16 and Lacey Floyd with 12.
“I told our girls that part of being here is that you’ve got to survive the first quarter,” said Badgett. “We put ourselves in a pretty good hole to start out with, and against a team like that, it’s hard to fight out of. Susan Moore is a great team and took care of business today.”
Sizemore, Gray, Hanners and Madalyn Amberson were the four seniors on the team.
“We haven’t made it out of the area [tournament] since our freshman year,” said Sizemore, who will play basketball at Gadsden State next year. “That was the last time we made it to JSU, so getting back here for our senior year means a lot. Our goal was to leave the program better than we found it, so that’s pretty special for us.”
“It’s been rough for us the last couple of years, so it felt good to make it here for our senior year,” said Gray. “I think we’re leaving [the program] in a good spot.”
“I told our girls at the beginning of the season that I thought we’d be a 20-win team and make it to Jacksonville,” said Badgett. “We ended up with 19 wins and made it here. We’ve got a great group coming back, but we’re losing four incredible seniors. Glencoe basketball is in a much better place because those four girls wore the uniform for us.”

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