Four girls teams knocked out

Published 9:12 am Friday, February 10, 2012

Jemison's Shelby Lopez drives toward the basket during Thursday's game at Southside-Selma.

By Robert Hudson | Selma Times-Journal

The Southside Lady Panthers defeated the Jemison Panthers 68-22 at Southside on Thursday to advance to the Class 4A Area 6 championship game.

Three other Chilton County area girls teams that remained in playoff contention were also eliminated on Thursday.

Billingsley lost to R.C. Hatch, 77-34, and Isabella lost to Francis Marion, 63-22, with both games coming in the Class 2A, Area 7 tournament at Francis Marion.

Chilton County High School lost to tournament host Central-Tuscaloosa, 51-12, in the Class 5A, Area 6 tournament.

The lone local team left, Maplesville, plays Keith at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Class 1A, Area 5 tournament at Keith. A win would ensure the Red Devils of finishing in the top two in the area and advance them to the sub-state round of the playoffs.

Southside’s tournament-opening win Thursday sets up a rematch between the tournament hosts and local rival Dallas County on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Southside.

Jason Bothwell, head coach of Southside (15-8), said his team knows it has to be well prepared for Saturday’s matchup.

“We’re in a championship mindset and we really have a sense of urgency right now, so it’s just really, really important for us to practice hard and be very strategic in our approach,” Bothwell said. “We know that Dallas County is a very, very noteworthy opponent and we’re just going to come in Saturday and be ready to play.”

The loss ends the season for Jemison (4-15), but it’s a season Jemison head coach Leighsa Robinson said displayed constant improvement and effort from her team.

“We won the last two regular season games, and I think our seniors provided outstanding leadership this year,” Robinson said. “We’ve had a lot of young kids. We’ve progressed as the season went and that’s what you ask as a coach. They’ve played hard every single game. All a coach can ask is for the players to play hard and they’ve done that every single minute.”

Both teams exchanged baskets to open the game, but Southside never trailed and outscored Jemison 16-4 in the opening quarter.

Southside carried over the momentum to the second quarter, opening it up on a 13-0 run.

Southside took a 33-6 lead into halftime and didn’t let Jemison crack double digits until midway through the third quarter and took a 56-10 lead into the fourth.

Both teams scored 12 points in the final quarter.

Tanisha Blevins led Southside with 18 points, while Calvondrea Blackmon and Kalundria Dillard had 10 points each off the bench for Southside.

Shayna Robinson and Denten Ellison each had six points for Jemison.