Class 5A, Area 15 Girls: Brewer Gets Off to Sluggish Start in Win Over Guntersville
By Russell Frye, For the Enquirer
Brewer opened up post-season play as one of the hottest teams in North Alabama, having won 10 out of their last 12 games since a mid-season two-game losing streak.
They looked to continue the hot streak as they jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead over the Lady Wildcats early in the first quarter. Guntersville cut the lead to three with just under two minutes to go in the first, 8-5. Over the final two minutes the Lady Patriots got back-to-back three-pointers from Hope West to extend their lead to 15-5.
Guntersville, who was defeated twice this season by Brewer by a combined 77 points, held tough with the Lady Patriots in the second quarter. The Lady Wildcat defense forced Brewer into some bad shots and held them to 11 points. They could not take advantage however, as they scored only 12 points to cut the Brewer lead to one, 26-17 at halftime.
“We missed too many easy shots early in the game and allowed Guntersville to keep it close,” Brewer coach Jeff Andrews said.
Brewer started the third quarter in a full-court press that forced three turnovers that led to six straight points. The quick burst of points extended their lead to 32-17. Guntersville made one final run at the Lady Patriots, outscoring them six to four to close out the third trailing 36-23.
The Lady Wildcats would get no closer as Brewer finally starting playing like one of the best teams in North Alabama. The Lady Patriots scored a game-high 21 points in the final eight minutes while holding the Guntersville to eight leading to a 57-31 final score.
“For most of the game we played with very little energy,” Andrews said. “I can’t explain why we played the way we did, but I am glad to get the victory.”
Brewer was led by Leisha Steger’s double-double, 11 points and 10 rebounds. McCarley Northway added 10 points and seven rebounds while West finished with 10.
The victory clinches a spot in the area tournament championship game on Thursday night against Scottsboro at 6:00 pm. Scottsboro advanced by defeating Arab 47-33 in the early contest.
The two teams split their regular season games, with each team winning on their home court.
Brewer (21-8) and Scottsboro (20-10) will advance to sub-regional with Thursday night’s winner getting to play at home against the runner-up from Area 13 while the loser will travel to the Area 13 winner.
Area 13 begins their tournament tonight at Boaz. Boaz (15-11) and Sardis (13-9) are the top two seeds.