Thorsby girls win county championship

Published 2:21 pm Monday, January 17, 2011

By Stephen Dawkins

Perhaps no one should have been surprised that Thorsby’s girls won the Chilton County Basketball Tournament.

Though the Rebels had lost to Isabella before the tournament, and Isabella had lost to Jemison, Thorsby’s success in the event over the past four years has been unequaled.

After a 40-27 win over Verbena in the championship game on Jan. 15, THS has won half of the past four titles and appeared in the finals both of the other two years.

Pride in Thorsby’s tournament reputation may have motivated this year’s team, which played its best basketball of the season, Coach Ab Argent said.

“We played hard. We got twice the effort,” he said. “I thought our girls played about as good as we had played all year.”

Thorsby’s usual stars were at their best, but the team also benefitted from contributions from unlikely sources.

Sharonda Cooper scored 30 points in the championship game and 20 points in a 44-34 semifinal win over Jemison on Jan. 14.

Amanda Hubbard added 11 points in the win over JHS, while Kelsey Mims had 12 points for the Panthers.

Two regular junior varsity players, freshman Megan Sanchez and seventh grader Sabrina Ellison, forced into action because of the absence of two usual contributors, played significant roles in the Thorsby’s tournament wins.

“We didn’t the turn the ball over as much, we rebounded better and defended better,” Argent said. “I tell them, those three things are usually going to decide the game.”

Thorsby drew a first-round bye in the tournament; Jemison defeated Maplesville, 44-29, on Jan. 11.

Maplesville was competitive but never really threatened after Mims sunk a floater at the first-period buzzer to give Jemison a 13-6 lead.

The Panthers led 23-11 at halftime and 32-19 after three periods, but MHS cut the deficit to eight points, at 33-25, before Mims nailed a 3-pointer with about 6 minutes left to play to end any doubt about the outcome.

Mims scored a game-high 16 points, and teammate Shelby Griffin had 13 points.