Late clutch shooting propels Etowah to area title


By Deunte Marshall/Sports Correspondent

With the Class 5A, Area 12 championship on the line last Saturday, Shuntara Howard hit two free throws with eight seconds left to give the Lady Blue Devils a win 45-43 win over Boaz and a home subregional game against Fort Payne on Feb. 16. 

Bri Aaron led Etowah with 25 points and won Tournament MVP honors. 

“Winning the tournament is a big thing for us,” said Etowah head coach Ryan Fore. “These girls know how to battle and come out with these close games.”

Boaz used a strong low post game to attack the Lady Devils (18-11). An early 8-0 run by the Lady Pirates included a 6-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. 

Aaron’s basket ended the Etowah scoring drought with 3:07 remaining in the first quarter. The Lady Blue Devils’ final score of the quarter came from Mary Cate Hereford, who drilled a trey from the corner with 1:24 to go. Boaz led 12-6 at the end of the frame. 

The Lady Pirates continued to attack the paint, as Hannah Liverett scored inside with 6:40 remaining in the frame. The inside scoring of Liverett gave an opening to the outside for Carsyn McDowell, who nailed a three-point shot on the next Boaz possession. Etowah responded with four straight points from Aaron, and the Lady Devils ended the first half with a 9-0 run, capped by Shuntara Howard’s three-pointer that cut her team’s deficit to 21-19 at halftime. 

Etowah held possession of the ball for the first three minutes of the third quarter, and after countless fouls, Aaron nailed a jumper at 5:27 mark.

Hereford gave the Lady Devils their first lead of the night a minute later with a pair of shots from the charity strip, and the teams entered the final quarter tied at 32.

Aaron made a jumper at 6:09 remaining in the fourth quarter, only to have Liverett score on a pair of free throws. 

Boaz eventually went up by three points, but that advantage didn’t last long as Aaron came up big with her game tying three-pointer with 1:08 remaining in the game. 

As both teams needed free throws down the stretch, Howard made hers to give the hosts the win.

Etowah went 9-for-16 (57 percent) from the free throw line, while Boaz connected on 22-of-34 attempts (65 percent). 

Liverett led scorers with 32 points.

Joining Aaron on the All-Tournament team from Etowah were Howard, Hereford and Brooke Perry. 


Latest News

Local veteran celebrates 99th birthday
Ford announces candidacy for Mayor of Gadsden 
Airport runway expansion announced
United Way Day of Action a success
Record turnout expected for Gadsden High reunions

Latest Sports News

Casting on the Coosa - Fairy wands, frog jigs and turkey calls
Etowah well represented on All-Messenger baseball team
Local thrower steps up on national stage
Casting on the Coosa - No injured reserved list for The Surgeon
Ashville's Drinkard, Westbrook's Henry highlight All-Messenger track and field teams