Isabella cruises to area title game

Published 4:50 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Isabella girls basketball team showed why it is the No. 1 seed and host of the Area 5-1A tournament with a 69-22 semifinal victory over Ellwood Christian on Feb. 5.

After a somewhat sluggish start by Isabella standards, the Mustangs picked up the pace following a first quarter timeout by head coach Jared Day.

“That’s what we try to do, but to do that [full-court press] you’ve got to score,” Day said. “Shots weren’t falling, and we just couldn’t get in a rhythm.”

Isabella came out of the timeout and forced a couple of turnovers with its full-court press, which resulted in transition baskets.

“They responded well after the timeout, and they proved that it doesn’t take long to score a lot.”

The added intensity on defense quickly helped grow the Mustangs’ lead to double digits, as Isabella led 19-6 after one.

Day’s timeout proved to be the turning point in the game and set the table for the remaining three quarters, where Isabella did not take its foot off the gas.

The Mustangs led 35-9 at halftime, and the margin only continued to grow from there.

Synia Chattman scored 30 points to lead all scorers. It was the second-straight game she reached the 30-point mark.

“She’s big every single night,” Day said. “As she goes, we go.”

Alexis Owens and Kiara Ford also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points apiece.

Isabella will play Autaugaville in the area title game at 6 p.m. on Feb. 8.