Photo: Glencoe High’s Anna Grace Goodwin passes over Gadsden City’s Jermila Underwood during the Lady Titans’ 53-43 victory in girls basketball last Tuesday (Jan. 21) at GHS. (Courtesy of Gary Wells)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
In a physical game between two ranked girls basketball teams, Gadsden City’s superior depth played a big role in the Class 7A No. 7 Lady Titans’ 53-43 victory over Class 3A No. 6 Glencoe last Tuesday (Jan. 21) at GHS.
After a strong start to the game, Glencoe trailed by double digits for much of the second half. But the Lady Yellow Jackets (17-6) drew within 47-38 with 2:28 left in the game on Crimson Silvey’s three-point basket.
On the next GCHS possession, however, Gadsden City’s Tameah Gaddis knocked down a three-pointer that pushed the GCHS advantage back to 12 points. Gaddis drained another trey with 1:12 to go to put the game out of reach.
GCHS head coach Jeremy Brooks acknowledged the advantage of frequently rotating in and out four or five players at a time.
“We tried to sub out a lot and wear [Glencoe] down and make them make mistakes. A lot of times, when teams get tired defensively, they sort of ease up and you can make a run. But [Glencoe] was very aggressive and played hard the entire game.”
Brooks was pleased that three of his players scored in double figures. Camille Jenkins finished with 14 points, followed by Gaddis with 13 and Adrianna Jones with 10.
“In general, you usually can scheme to stop one or two people. It’s harder to make a game plan for a team that has multiple threats and can spread the ball around.”
Cianni Rhodes grabbed 10 rebounds, while Ajainay Tinker dished out five assists. Rhodes and Gaddis each had four blocks.
Glencoe head coach Jamie Barkley was realistic about her team’s second loss over the past 11 games.
“They’re deeper than we are. We talked about rising above that, but it was difficult to play through. They’re very physical and very strong, and we just didn’t find that extra push tonight. We have great players, but we don’t have the same caliber at the same level [as Gadsden City].”
Not helping matters was the absence of defensive specialist Anna Grace Goodwin, who remained on the bench most for the third quarter after picking up her third foul shortly before halftime.
“In that we’d need Anna Grace in the fourth [quarter], so I had to sit her. She’s a difference-maker on defense. Her being out was a big reason why we were outscored (20 to 12) in the third.”
Ashley Morgan and Anna Beth Giles each scored 10 points for Glencoe, followed by Abby Vice with nine, Silvey with eight and Aubrey Gray with six.
It was the Lady Titans who were back on their heels in the early going, as the hosts stormed out to 14-7 lead after one quarter.
Gadsden City eventually regrouped, opening the second period with an 8-0 run. Jones gave the Lady Titans their first lead of the night at 15-14 with her jump shot at 4:18. The hosts managed just one more basket the rest of the first half, and Jones’ traditional three-point play with nine seconds left put GCHS ahead 20-18 at halftime.
“We wanted to change defenses all through the game to keep [Gadsden City] off balance, and I felt like we did that well in the first half,” said Barkley. “But we kept trying to beat our heads against the wall and force it inside when it wasn’t there. We’re used to having that availability [to score inside], and just didn’t have that tonight.”
The visitors began to pull away in the third quarter. After a basket by Silvey tied the game 10 seconds into the second half, Gadsden City finished off the period with a 22-10 stretch that made it 42-30 after 24 minutes.
The Lady Jackets twice cut the deficit to single digits during the fourth quarter, but Gadsden City’s superior depth eventually took its toll.