Mustangs win area, eye state

Published 4:51 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Isabella and Maplesville will each be going to the postseason following the Mustangs three-set sweep (25-5, 25-11, 25-13) of the Red Devils in the Area 5-1A title game.

Each of the sets during the championship match were controlled by Isabella, which was never really in jeopardy of losing throughout the tournament.

The Mustangs won all six sets that it played in the semifinals against Ellwood Christian and the championship against Maplesville.

Prior to the championship match, all eight Isabella seniors came to the scoring table for the coin toss.

It was the last time that the seniors had the opportunity to play an official game on the Mustangs’ home court.

“This team is very experienced and they are not going to see anything that they haven’t seen before,” Isabella head coach Glen Graham said. “They have prepared well and we have high hopes for them.”

Synia Chattman was named tournament MVP, but there were several other players that had a contributing factor in Isabella’s dominant performance.

Chattman was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Kinley Tuttle, Sophia Underwood, Kasey Grimes, Jayda Jones and Kaitlin Lockhart.

“I thought our girls played in-system ball for most of the day,” Graham said. “I don’t ever worry about who’s on the other side of the net. I worry about us, because if we do the things that we are capable of doing, then we are going to have an opportunity at winning.”

Maplesville’s all-tournament representatives were Tydasia Davis, Serenity Corona and Karley Smitherman.

Despite the loss, Maplesville finished runner-up in the area and clinched a playoff spot.

A trip to the postseason is a major step forward and an example of how much the team has grown since Stacy Mcgehee took over as head coach at the start of the season.

Mcgehee and the team have continued to learn about each other throughout the season and now find themselves in the state playoffs.

In the area semifinals Isabella cruised past Ellwood Christian (25-3, 25-7, 25-3), while Maplesville advanced to the final with a four set victory over Autaugaville (25-14, 25-19, 23-25, 25-23).

Serving was all that Isabella needed to power past Ellwood Christian and the Red Devils found itself in a nail-biter after winning the first two sets against Autaugaville.

“They’ve bought in on trying to win in a system and a process and knowing that it’s about baby steps to get better at this [postseason] time,” Maplesville head coach Stacy Mcgehee said. “In the Isabella game, I was proud of my back row players, Jamia and Janiya [Moore], for making some big digs. I thought we gave better effort and hustle against Isabella, then we did in the third and fourth games against Autaugaville.”

For the Isabella senior class, they have won all four area tournaments that they have been a part of during their high school careers.

“It was a little sweeter with it being my senior year,” Tuttle said. “It’s been really easy growing up on the court together.”

The super regionals will begin on Oct. 26 and continue Oct. 27 with all games played at the Multiplex at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

On Oct. 26, Isabella opens with Kinston at 2 p.m. on Court No. 3; Maplesville faces Pleasant Home at 2 p.m. on Court No. 6; Chilton County plays Daphne at 9 a.m. on Court No. 3; Billingsley squares off against New Brockton at 10:15 a.m. on Court No. 6.

Jemison is the last team to start super regional play on Oct. 27 against St. Paul’s at 10:15 a.m. on Court No. 6.