Walker County Basketball Tournament: Cordova takes on Carbon Hill for girls title
by Johnathan Bentley and W. Brian Hale
Jan 25, 2014 | 960 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cordova’s Alexis Cooper, left, is defended by Curry’s Ella Banks (12) during their game on Friday. Cordova advanced to today’s championship game with a 67-47 win. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Cordova’s Alexis Cooper, left, is defended by Curry’s Ella Banks (12) during their game on Friday. Cordova advanced to today’s championship game with a 67-47 win. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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CORDOVA — Cordova will put its No. 1 seed in the Walker County Basketball Tournament to the test tonight.

The Blue Devils will take on three-time defending Walker County champion Carbon Hill at 5:45 p.m. in the championship game.

Cordova hit one milestone on Friday night, notching its 20th win for the first time in school history.

They look to add another milestone to the resume today.

The teams haven’t played since last year’s meeting in the semifinals of the county tournament at Carbon Hill High School.

“I hope we come ready to play,” Cordova coach Randy Stracner said. “We are going to have to establish the way we play. We can’t let them play their game. We’ve got to run up and down the court and put pressure on them.

“(Carbon Hill) has a lot of pride in their program. They’ve had a lot of success over the last several years. They know how to win. It will be a tough challenge for us.”

Both teams breezed through the semifinals.

Cordova used a 10-0 second quarter run to build a big lead en route to a win over Curry while Carbon Hill got 38 points from three-time Walker County MVP Caroline Dodd in a rout of Oakman.

“It will take a great effort to beat Cordova, but I am confident that we’re going to compete our tails off,” Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle said.

“ As a coach that is all I ask —  give a great effort and see what happens.”

———

(1) Cordova 67, (4) Curry 47

Curry stayed within striking distance of the Blue Devils for the better part of the first two quarters on Friday night.

Cordova (20-5) finally got on a hot streak over the final 2:30 minutes of the first half.

The Blue Devils used a 10-0 run to put Curry away in a 67-47 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

Curry cut Cordova’s lead to 26-20 after an Emily Aaron basket. The Blue Devils responded with a Kennedy Stracner 3-pointer and baskets by Hanna McLemore, Jessica Willingham and Mabry Norris. Cordova took a 36-23 lead into the half and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Willingham added eight points in the third quarter for a 58-38 lead going into the final period.

“We weren’t sharp in the first half, but our pressure paid off. We were able to get some easy baskets. The biggest thing we had to do was make sure Ella Banks and Ashlee Swindle didn’t hurt us. We clamped down on them pretty good,” Stracner said.

The duo combined to make just five shots on the night.

For Cordova, Willingham had 20 points, McLemore added 11 points, Alexis Cooper and Raigan Sherer each had 10 while Randi Capps put in six.

Banks hit three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, Kaylee Horton had 12 points, Swindle added 10 and Taylor Rowe had nine points.

Curry will face sixth-seeded Parrish in today’s third-place game at 12:45 p.m.

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(2) Carbon Hill 68, (3) Oakman 25

The second-seed Carbon Hill Bulldogs are back in a familiar spot — making their fourth-straight trip to the Walker County Tournament Championship game following a 68-25 rout of the third-seed Oakman Wildcats on Friday.

Three-time tournament MVP Caroline Dodd made her case for a fourth award, leading Carbon Hill with 35 points and hitting seven of 10 shots from three-point range. Dodd added six rebounds and four steals. Savanna Lawson had 14 points, Katie Moore put in eight and Abby Tittle had two points, seven assists and six rebounds.

Malori Crowell scored 12 points for the Wildcats.

The Bulldogs (17-8) had little problem establishing the tempo of the game in the first period, scoring 25 points while holding the Wildcats to just five.

Carbon Hill mounted a 27-5 run in the second period to remain in command, 52-10, at the half.

Oakman won the scoring battle in the third period, 10-9, with Carbon Hill still firmly in front, 61-20. The Bulldogs sealed the game following a 7-5 fourth-period run for the 68-25 win.

“We shot the ball much better tonight and shared it really well. We had 21 assists on 25 baskets,” Tittle said.

Carbon Hill faces the first-seed Cordova Blue Devils in the title game today at 5:45 p.m. Oakman takes on Dora in the fifth-place game at 10 a.m.