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Panthers take back the plaque

Jemison on Saturday won its fifth county volleyball tournament in seven tries since the tournament’s renewal in 2003.

The Panthers defeated defending champion Isabella in what amounted to a championship match, 25-13, 25-16. It was the last contest of a round robin tournament, and both teams came in unbeaten on the day.

“They wanted to prove a point,” coach Leighsa Robinson said. “Thorsby is the most dangerous team in the county, they beat us twice, we lost to Isabella once and Clanton took a set from us.

“Our whole county has just grown. The skill level has improved across the whole county. It’s good to see.”

The Panthers broke a huddle following the tournament with the cry, “The plaque is back!” The winner of each tournament has its name and year inscribed on a plaque, which is kept by the winning school until the next tournament.

Jemison also defeated host Chilton County High (25-22, 25-18) and Thorsby (25-21, 25-15). The Mustangs also defeated both CCHS (25-18, 27-25) and Thorsby (25-18, 21-25, 15-4).

Thorsby topped the Tigers to earn third place in the tournament.

Jemison’s Kasi Wells was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Wells recorded 38 assists, nine kills and six digs in three matches. She did not miss a single serve in 36 attempts and had six aces.

Tabatha Cork (21 kills, 12 assists and no missed serves) and Whitney Childress (10 kills and eight aces) also made the all-tournament team.

The Panthers were good on 138 of 147 serve attempts on the day, or about 94 percent.

Isabella’s Heather Mason and Amber Wyatt were all-tournament selections.

Mason finished with 16 assists, and Wyatt had 34 kills, seven blocks and four aces.

Michelle Hendrix was Thorsby’s all-tournament selection. She finished with 14 digs and three aces and passed the volleyball exceptionally well, coach Ginger Williams said.

Rachel Johnston was CCHS’s all-tournament selection. Johnston recorded seven kills, three aces and two blocks.