Lady Eagles win area

Published 11:59 pm Monday, February 9, 2009

Pleasant Home’s girls forced Florala into early foul trouble — effectively negating the Lady Wildcats’ size advantage — on the way to a 60-36 win in the Class 1A, Area 3 championship game at Pleasant Home Monday evening.

Three Lady Wildcats picked up four personal fouls each in the first half of the game — Olivia Hobbs, Chelsea Davis and Hilary Thames. Davis and Hobbs fouled out in the second half, along with 6-foot-3 Lindsay Stainbrook.

“It was big for us to get (Florala) into foul trouble,” Pleasant Home coach Kelley Garner said. “We knew they had a big height advantage over us. It’s wasn’t the prettiest win, but at this point in the year you’ll take it.”

Pleasant Home led 12-6 after the first quarter and 28-19 at halftime. The Lady Eagles broke the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Florala 19-8 in the quarter for a 47-27 lead heading into the fourth.

“In the first half we were missing a lot of layups and easy shots,” Garner said. “Then at the start of the second half we came out and hit a few consecutive shots to give ourselves a little breathing room.”

Florala started the season with just one win in its first 14 games. But the Lady Wildcats came into Monday’s game with four wins in their last five, and their head coach was proud at his team’s effort against the favored Lady Eagles.

“My hat goes off to my girls because they played the game of their lives tonight,” Florala coach Kristopher Staley said. “Earlier in the year, Pleasant Home would have beaten us by 40 or more. This team is young and they have just improved consistently during the entire year.”

Pleasant Home will host Brantley Thursday at 7 p.m. in the sub-region round of the state tournament. Florala will travel to face Providence Christian.

Erin Byrd led Pleasant Home (21-4) with 25 points, followed by Ariel Gunter with 13 and Gina Davis with 10. Justina Clissold had 13 points to lead the Lady Wildcats, followed by Mariah Thompson with 12.