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Hartselle Enquirer

Brewer takes its first title

Brewer's girls basketball team receives the state championship trophy Saturday night in Birmingham. The team beat Valley 65-43 to win its first championship in school history. | Brent Maze

BIRMINGHAM – March 3, 2012, will be one day that Brewer head coach Ricky Allen, his team and school will never forget.

The Lady Patriots basketball team (32-3) became the school’s first state champion with a 65-43 convincing win over Valley (26-3) in the Class 5A state championship.

“It’s sweet,” said Allen, “We came in here with the most determination I’ve ever seen from our team. There was no nervousness. They had a job to do and they did it.

“It’s probably best seven quarters we’ve played all year long,” Allen added. “This was our best game by far, whether it was controlling your nerves or anything else. Again, it was just sweet.”

Senior Courtney Oldacre knew the hardest part of the trip to Birmingham was the game they played against No. 1 Faith Academy.

“When we took the floor, coach told us that the hardest game is the first one,” Oldacre said. “We were in a position similar to this position before. We handled it well. It’s just unreal to be a part of first state championship.”

Oldacre helped Brewer sprint out to a big lead in the first half. Her 5-of-6 field goal shooting including a rare 4-point play gave her 13 first-half points as the Lady Patriots built a 37-27 halftime lead. She finished with 15 points.

Riley Northway also had 11 points in the first half and finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds en route to becoming the tournament MVP.

Northway said it was sweet due what happened last year when they lost in the Class 5A semifinals.

“I was devastated, but in the end, it was a good thing for us,” Northway said. “It was horrible to go through, but it motivated us. And it definitely helped in semis to come back because we’d been in that position before.”

In the second half, the Patriots pushed the game out of reach early on as they cruised to the state championship.

Oldacre and Rheagan Harvel also made the all-tournament team. Harvel finished with 14 points and 3 assists.

Everyone else on the team made key contributions as well. Hannah Landers finished with 5 points while Danielle Dunn and Mallory Drinkard each had 3 points. Savana Flack added the last 2 points for the team and also had 6 rebounds.

While Cheyenne McLemore didn’t score, she pulled down 8 rebounds and dished out 3 assists.

Audrianna Walker was the only player in double figures for Valley with 14 points.

Brewer shot 51 percent for the game and 42.9 percent from 3-point range. They also had 13 assists to just 9 turnovers.