By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Gadsden City girls head basketball coach Jeremy Brooks acknowledged that Grissom’s plan of limiting the Lady Titans’ outside game worked to an extent on Tuesday (Nov. 8).
“[Grissom] came out with some junk defenses and ran some triangles and twos, and they got pressure on us on the perimeter,” he said. “So we tried to beat the first [defender] off the dribble or on a screen. It wasn’t necessarily what we were looking for but more of a case of taking what the defense allowed us to have.”
The visitors from Huntsville did not completely shut down the GCHS backcourt, however, as junior guards Haley Troup and Brooke Burns combined for 43 points in a 57-50 victory over the Lady Titans’ Class 7A, Area 7 rivals.
Troup finished with 26 points, including 17 points in the second half. Burns netted 17 points while shooting 5-for-6 at the free throw line.
Gadsden City led for the entire second half but didn’t put away the Lady Tigers until the final minute when Grissom had to foul in order to regain possession. With the Lady Titans leading 52-45 and in the bonus free throw situation, Troup and Burns each went 2-for-2 over the final 1:12 to secure the win. The outcome was decided before a three-point basket by Grissom’s Kyonna Leslie with three seconds left narrowed the gap a bit.
“As everybody in the gym could tell, [Grissom] wanted to go inside on every single play,” said Brooks. “They look to go in the post more than any team we’ve played or will play this year, and we know that going in. We made sure that we defended the paint as much as possible and stop second-chance points, but with the athletes that [Grissom] has, you’re not going to be totally successful.”
Kenya Gueye’s layup with 13 late in the first quarter gave Gadsden City a slim 15-14 advantage, and the remainder of the first half went back and forth.
Grissom’s last lead of the game came at 16-15 early in the second frame, and Burns’ three-pointer with three minutes to go gave the Lady Titans a five-point lead. Lauren Adams’ trey with 90 seconds left trimmed the GCHS lead to 25-23 at intermission.
Troup took over in the third period, scoring 10 of the Lady Titans’ 16 points to help the hosts go up 41-33. Burns’ basket 30 seconds into the fourth made it a 10-point Gadsden City lead, but the Lady Tigers then stayed within single digits until the final minute.
“It was one of those hard-fought, grind-it-out wins,” said Brooks. “We’re thankful to be 2-0 in the area and looking to improve.”
Robin Treadwell added nine points and four steals for Gadsden City.
Jennifer Andrew and Diamond Jolly each scored 15 points for Grissom.