|Gleason laughs last at SF girls’ expense |
It’s been said that he who laughs last laughs best.
South Fulton’s Chelsea Cox pulls down a rebound during her team’s 39-34 defeat Monday evening at Gleason in the quarterfinal round of the District 14A Tournament.
If that statement is indeed true, then Gleason girls’ coach Randy Frazier can chuckle at least all the way to the Region 7A Tournament after his team’s 39-34 triumph over South Fulton Monday night in the quarterfinals of the District 14A Tournament.
The Devilettes, coming off a 44-35 victory over these same Lady Bulldogs just four days earlier, were dropped, thanks to a Gleason defense that limited the locals to one shot per possession on many occasions.
“I have to take my hat off to Gleason,” SF girls’ skipper Curt Lee said. “They limited our time in the paint and our offensive rebounds while letting us take one shot on many of our possessions.
“They kept us out of the paint and we just couldn’t get the guard play to get over the hump. They gave us outside shots, but we just missed them and we only had three offensive rebounds during the game.”
The loss ends South Fulton’s season at a mark of 11-15, with the team not reaching the regional tournament for the third consecutive season.
Furthermore, since the implication of the 10-team District 14A three years ago, the Devilettes have yet to win a postseason game.
However, it appeared that trend might be ending early in Monday’s contest.
South Fulton jumped on the reigning Class A state champions with an 11-2 run during the first four 1/2 minutes of play.
Maeghan Eaves swished a pair of 3-pointers with Cherissa Vinson good for one trifecta during the run.
With the lead intact, disaster struck for the locals.
SF’s shooting corps went cold with Gleason (19-8) holding the Obion Countians scoreless for nearly eight minutes.
During the Devilettes’ drought that began midway through the first quarter and ended with 4:29 remaining in the second, Riley Auvenshine bottomed a pair of baskets.
Stout had one bucket during the run with sophomore classmate Jenna Frazier responsible for a pair of charity tosses. Sara Hensley ended the run with a pair of freebies that put GHS up 12-11.
Moments later, Vinson tilted the scale back in SF’s favor with a bucket at the 4:29 mark of the second period.
Not deterred, South Fulton finished the first half strong ahead 20-16 thanks in large part to its seniors.
Vinson, one of three seniors on the squad and SF’s leading scorer (10) the game, ended the frame with six points while classmate Chelsea Cox was the instigator of an old-fashioned 3-point play.
The game’s pivotal quarter was the third. Gleason, which scored 11 overall points in the frame, held the Devilettes to a lone bucket and a pair of free throws.
In the final frame, Frazier sank 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to lead Gleason.
The game was also the last in a SF girls’ basketball jersey for Cox and Kaitlin Turner.
Lee lauded Vinson and Cox for their play this season, stating he “could not compliment their efforts enough.”
The SF skipper was also satisfied with the amount of minutes that Turner gave him in the final few games as a key substitute.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.