Straughn claims title

Published 11:59 pm Friday, January 23, 2009

The Straughn Lady Tigers clinched the Class 3A, Area 3 championship Friday night over Calhoun, 44-33.

“Tonight was for the girls,” Straughn coach Scott Kinsaul said. “They played well. Defensively, I thought we played real well, especially being outsized inside. I thought our post players played great post defense and our guards had a lot of pressure on the perimeter, which made it a little hard for (Calhoun) to get it inside.

“It was a total team win from the bench to the starters to our manager to our filmer,” he said. “I’m so proud of these girls and this program and what they’ve accomplished this year. We’re area champions and that’s what you want is to be able to host the area tournament.”

Straughn sent a message to the visiting Calhoun Lady Tigers early in the first half, going up 11-4 at the end of the first quarter and 16-10 at halftime.

Straughn’s Kimberly Teel led in scoring Friday night with 13 points, while Tiffany Taylor and Kayla Teel put up eight points apiece.

Straughn (18-4, 5-1 in Class 3A, Area 3) slacked off a bit at the beginning of the second half to let Calhoun tie the game up 16-16 with 5:34 left in the third.

Kinsaul said the girls in the second half were not making shots and got “cold.”

“In the second half, we couldn’t just make a shot and just went real cold from the field,” Kinsaul said. “Just like all year, we had to rely on our defense and we finally made a couple shots and got into our press and our defense just took it from there.”

Straughn pulled away at the end of that quarter to go up, 23-19.

In the fourth, Straughn shot four points early to take a 27-19 lead and the points just kept on coming.

With 3:38 left in the game, the Lady Tigers were ahead over Calhoun, 37-19, which gave them the momentum to seal their area championship title.

Kinsaul said the reason he feels why his team won the area championship Friday night is due to “hard work.”

“There is no substitute for hard work,” he said. “Saturday practices, running, Sunday afternoon practices, watching film, shooting and free throws. These girls deserve all the credit for everything they’ve accomplished. I’m just fortunate to be a part of it.”

Calhoun boys 62

Straughn boys 42

In later action Friday night, Straughn fell to Calhoun, 62-42.

The Tigers put up a good fight in the first half going up by at least five points over their opponent, but at halftime, they were losing by seven points, 29-22.

Straughn (8-14, 0-6 in Class 3A, Area 3) could not pick itself up for the rest of the game, only shooting 20 points compared to Calhoun’s 33.

Straughn coach Todd Reynolds said it was “really a heck of an effort” Friday night.

“It just seems that it was another eat your whistle session,” Reynolds said. “It seems like one team is allowed to be as rough as possible at our expense. We’re never going to win a wrestling match. We’re not that kind of team.”

Reynolds said his players still have a lot to learn.

“I still have some players that have got a lot to learn about this game,” he said. “The problem with teenagers is they think they know so much and they just don’t know anything. The only way you can get their attention is to sit them. We started to get some cohesiveness and started to get down low and put up a good effort at the end of the game.”

Leading scorers for Straughn were Jakim Felton with 16 points and C.J. Christopher with eight points.