Girls basketball midseason report

Published 4:51 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

Now that the county tournament has been played, basketball teams are in the midst of the second half of the season and area play, which will decide each team’s postseason possibilities.

However, before we focus on the final stretch of the season and area tournaments, let us take a look back at how the county’s teams have fared and who stood out at the midway point of the season.


Chilton County High School

Summary: CCHS is on a roll and riding high after winning the county tournament and following it up with a statement victory over highly-ranked Selma.

The Tigers (8-6, 1-1) have had a roller coaster season after a fast start followed by a rough stretch, but now seem to be trending in a positive direction once again.

CCHS can beat opponents with either dominant guard play or by feeding the ball into the post.

MVP: Senior Lexis Blackman not only puts the ball through hoop, but also has a knack for facilitating the ball and spreading it around to her teammates.

She has excellent ball skills and has developed into an emotional leader for the team over the years.


Isabella High School

Summary: The Mustangs continue to be one of the best teams in the county and a force to be reckoned with in Class 1A.

As it has been in recent years, Isabella’s (10-3, 2-0) approach relies on heavy pressure and the ability to capitalize on opponent turnovers.

The play of Synia Chattman and Kiara Ford in the backcourt frustrates teams and Alexis Owens has been reliable down low.

MVP: Chattman is Isabella’s leading scorer and in many ways the heart and soul of the team.

Transition points are a big part of her game and the Mustangs’ offense.

She and Ford were named the co-players of the year in girls basketball last season by The Clanton Advertiser and have carried that over to the current season.


Jemison High School

Summary: The Panthers (1-12, 0-4) are a very young team, which comes with its share of growing pains as the younger players continue to grow into their roles.

The offense has gone through stretches where it has struggled to find points.

For Jemison every game remaining on the schedule is another chance to focus on player development.

MVP: Despite the difficulty scoring, senior Karmen Mims has been the consistent bright spot.

The offense funnels through Mims, a role that she appears very comfortable in.

She can score from just about anywhere on the court.

Lexis Blackman of CCHS hangs in the air and shoots a shot among defenders down low. (File photo)

Maplesville High School

Summary: Maplesville is still looking for its first win of the season.

The Red Devils (0-5, 0-1) have come close to winning and spent some time playing with the lead in its last couple of games.

Although they still wound up on the losing end, the score did not reflect the way that Maplesville played. The next step is learning how to finish games.

MVP: Tydasia Davis has been a presence in the paint and allows the Red Devils the ability to hold its own in the rebounding battle.

She is continuing to learn new ways to use her size down low to her advantage, especially against under-sized opponents.


Thorsby High School

Summary: The Rebels are an extremely young team and have gone spurts where that youth has come to the forefront.

As Thorsby (2-6, 0-1) gains experience, the results should eventually follow.

While fighting to make it out of the area and into the playoffs, there is also a sense of building toward the future.

MVP: Junior Hannah Smith and freshman Carlee Wyatt are the present and future of the Thorsby girls basketball program.

They both present different challenges for opposing defenses, with Smith excelling at driving the ball and Wyatt a consistent spot-up shooter.


Verbena High School

Summary: As the season has progressed, Verbena (4-6, 1-3) has taken steps in learning what it takes to win games at the varsity level.

After struggling to finish games at the start of the season, the Red Devils have begun to do so of late and have won four of its last six games.

The team is full of freshmen and sophomores, many of whom head coach David Sneed had success with in junior varsity. That success is now beginning to translate at the next level.

MVP: JaNiya and Jasmyn White share a bond off the court as sisters and also on the court as Verbena’s top two scorers.

JaNiya is a junior, while Jasmyn is in the eighth grade. They have similar skill sets and play with an attacking style and high energy.

The next step for the Red Devils is to develop some more consistent scorers, because there have been games where the White sisters have accounted for all of Verbena’s points.


Billingsley High School

Summary: Billingsley currently finds itself in a losing streak and is looking to climb out of it.

Despite the recent loses, the Bears (2-5, 2-1) still appear in decent shape with a pair of area victories. However, those wins came in the first two games of the season and none have come since.

Billingsley will have to regain that early season form in order to finish as strong as it started.

MVP: Senior point guard Abby Tindol is the orchestrator of the Billingsley offense in many ways.

Her ball-handling skills are excellent and she draws the attention of the defense, which creates open looks for her teammates.

On defense, she uses her quick feet to get in position and has the ability to keep pace with the opponent’s best scorer.