Rebs advance to sub-state

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thorsby was the No. 1 seed, tournament host and had a sparkling 19-1 record.

But Thursday’s game against No. 4 seed and three-win Fultondale was anything but a cakewalk.

The Rebels battled foul trouble and mental mistakes in a 48-40 win in the first round of the Class 2A, Area 9 tournament.

“People were saying, aw, ya’ll will win that first one easy, but it was a battle both times [the teams played in the regular season],” Thorsby coach Ab Argent said. “This was a good basketball team.”

Thorsby will play Shades Mountain Christian, who defeated Vincent 25-20 earlier in the night, at 5 p.m. Saturday for the area championship.

Thorsby will make the sub-state round of the playoffs regardless of Saturday’s outcome, but a win would give the Rebels the right to host again.

Thorsby led throughout Thursday’s game but could never put away the gritty Wildcats (3-16), possibly because some of the Thorsby’s best players spent significant amounts of time on the bench in foul trouble.

The hosts had accumulated 16 fouls at halftime, and Fultondale had 11 fouls.

Both of Thorsby’s primary ball handlers, Sharonda Cooper and Ashlin Hilyer, picked up their fourth fouls in the third period.

The frequent whistles and Fultondale’s aggressive defense seemed to frustrate Thorsby, as the Rebels picked up one technical foul and several unnecessary personal fouls.

“It was sloppy, and we kind of lost our composure a little bit,” Argent said. “The effort was there; we just didn’t play smart at times.”

With two of their guards limited, Thorsby relied on its post players—including Nicole Barrett, Stephanie Harris, Michelle Hendrix and Amanda Hubbard—to compete for rebounds with the taller Fultondale frontcourt.

Cooper led all scorers with 15 points, and Johnna Doody scored 10 points.

Briana Griffin had 14 points for Fultondale.