Strong fourth pushes Sono­rav­ille past ri­val Cal­houn

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Alex Far­rer

In their first meet­ing against Cal­houn a few weeks ago, the Sono­rav­ille Lady Phoenix used a big fourth-quar­ter surge to pull away after a com­pet­i­tive game through the first three quar­ters and earn a big ri­valry win. That strat­egy worked so well they de­cided to use it again on Fri­day.

With the game tied 35-35 after three quar­ters, Sono­rav­ille opened the fi­nal pe­riod on an 11-0 run and held on from there for a 55-45 vic­tory on the ri­val Lady Jack­ets’ home court.

The run at the be­gin­ning of the fourth quar- ter for Sono­rav­ille (17-7, 7-1 sub­re­gion) was jump­started by a 3-pointer to open the pe­riod from Grace Dar­nell and in­cluded two buck­ets from Alexa Geary and one bucket apiece from Abby Cham­bers and Maliyah Parks. The Lady Phoenix then sealed the vic­tory by go­ing 9-of-12 down the stretch from the free throw line.

Sono­rav­ille coach Stephanie Caudell said her team has seemed to step up in crucial times of­ten this sea­son, and they once again didn’t shy away from the mo­ment on Fri­day.

“It’s been that way as far as be­ing con­fi­dent and not let­ting the mo­ment bother them,” said Caudell of her team. “They al­ways seem to re­spond well, es­pe­cially dur­ing the sub­re­gion sched­ule. We felt con­fi­dent tonight that we were go­ing to be able to do it again. We knew it wasn’t go­ing to be easy against a tough Cal­houn team, but our girls fought ev­ery minute tonight and we were able to come through with some big plays in the fourth quar­ter.”

Cal­houn (11-11, 4-4 sub­re­gion) jumped on top early as they took a 14-0 lead after the first quar­ter. They then built a 17-12 lead early in the sec­ond quar­ter be­fore Sono­rav­ille fin­ished the first half on a 14-6 run to take the mo­men­tum into the locker room at the half with a 26-23 lead.

The Lady Jack­ets re­sponded with their own run in the third quar­ter as they turned a 33-27 deficit mid­way through the pe­riod into a 35-35 score with the teams head­ing to the fi­nal quar­ter.

After Sono­rav­ille went up by 11 a cou­ple times in the fourth quar­ter, Cal­houn con­tin­ued to bat­tle but never got any closer than seven down the stretch.

Parks led the Lady Phoenix in scor­ing in the win with 17 points. The sopho­more for­ward did a lot of the work in the first two quar­ters scor­ing 13 points in the first half alone.

“(Maliyah) car­ried us in the first half,” said Caudell.

“When it looked like no­body else could get any­thing to go, she did a lot of the scor­ing. But that’s what she’s done all sea­son. She told me she was re­ally ner­vous go­ing dis­tance in the fourth. They made some big free throws, and any time Cal­houn made a run through­out the game, Wil came up with a bas­ket. I’m so into the game a lot of times that I don’t re­ally get to step back and just have fun watch­ing Wil play. But watch­ing him tonight was fun.”

Trent Daniel added seven for Sono­rav­ille, and Seth Harkins scored six be­fore leav­ing the game in the sec­ond half with an an­kle in­jury. into the game tonight, but she was able to use that en­ergy to have a big night. She’s a great kid, and I’m proud of her.”

Geary added 10, and Dar­nell con­trib­uted eight points. Kar­ley Thomas also scored eight points off the bench, in­clud­ing a cou­ple big 3-point­ers in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Erin Davis, Cal­houn’s lone se­nior that was hon­ored fol­low­ing the game as part of Se­nior Night fes­tiv­i­ties, did her best to try to will her team to a win, scor­ing a game­high 19. Rai­ley Gree­son and Anna Ge­orge each added seven.

Sono­rav­ille’s win put them in a tie atop the sub­re­gion stand­ings with Har­al­son County, and the Lady Phoenix won a coin toss on Satur­day to get the No. 1 seed from the South for the Re­gion 6-AAA Tour­na­ment this week. They will get a bye into the semi­fi­nals on Fri­day, and that also means they clinch a state tour­na­ment berth.

“You def­i­nitely want to be play­ing your best go­ing into the re­gion tour­na­ment, and I think we are,” said Caudell. “To come through a pretty tough sub­re­gion with just one loss makes you feel con­fi­dent go­ing for­ward. So we’ll go play next week at the re­gion tour­na­ment and see what hap­pens. We’re look­ing for­ward to it.”

Cal­houn en­tered the tour­na­ment as the No. 3 seed from the South and played Coahulla Creek in the open­ing round on Mon­day. (For de­tails on that game, see Satur­day’s Cal­houn Times.) Mash­burn said after the game that he didn’t think it was any­thing se­ri­ous.

Davis Allen led the scor­ing for Cal­houn with 16 points, in­clud­ing 12 in the sec­ond half. Law added 15 with 10 com­ing in the fourth quar­ter. Goble scored 13, and Tononcito Martha and Xax­ton Good­son con­trib­uted seven apiece.

Law and Goble were two of the three Cal­houn se­niors hon­ored prior to the game as part of Se­nior Night fes­tiv­i­ties. Con- ner Mc­Don­ald was the third se­nior rec­og­nized. Layson said he is thank­ful for the time he has got­ten to coach the trio and def­i­nitely wanted a bet­ter re­sult on their Se­nior Night.

“Porter, Chase and Con­ner are all three great kids, and you can tell that their par­ents have done a great job rais­ing them,” said Layson. “I’ve en­joyed hav­ing them the past few years. They have all worked their way up into be­ing big parts of our pro­gram, and they are very good bas­ket­ball play­ers. It hurts not to win on their Se­nior Night, but I’m ex­tremely proud of all three of them.”

Cal­houn was set to open the Re­gion 6-AAA Tour­na­ment at Sono­rav­ille on Tues­day against Coahulla Creek in the first round. (For de­tails on that game, see Satur­day’s Cal­houn Times.) Sono­rav­ille re­ceived a bye straight into the semi­fi­nals and will play on Fri­day at 5:30 p.m.

TIM GODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Abby Cham­bers (left) and Har­leigh Chas­tain con­test a shot by Cal­houn’s Rai­ley Gree­son.

TIM GODBEE / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Alexa Geary (23) goes up for a shot over Cal­houn’s Mag­gie McBrayer in the fourth.

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