PHS earns ticket to Troy

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

After Pleasant Home’s 46-41 win over Brantley Thursday night, head coach Kelley Garner said it was not easy for her team to stamp its ticket to Troy and the South Regional.

“That was tough,” Garner said. “That was one of the hardest fought games we’ve had all year. Brantley came in here and gave us a good challenge (Thursday night). We were kind of in a position we haven’t been all year — trailing at halftime by one point.”

The Lady Eagles were down 21-20 going into the third quarter. Two layups plus one free throw by Pleasant Home’s Ariel Gunter put them up 25-23.

Later in the third quarter, Brantley’s DeAnza Sheridan put up a 3-pointer to tie the game 28-28 with 3:01 left.

After two key steals and a layup by Pleasant Home’s Brentin Fuller, the Lady Eagles established their momentum going into the fourth quarter.

“The girls responded well and we had a good third quarter again,” Garner said. “It kind of put us over the top again and gave us a little more breathing room there at the end. I can’t say enough about these girls. They just stepped up and played with heart like we’ve been talking about all year.”

The Lady Eagles (22-4) had a 37-30 lead going into the fourth quarter but Brantley quickly shot back to within four points of the lead.

The Lady Bulldogs could not catch up to Pleasant Home after getting called on fouls.

With the score at 43-36 in favor of Pleasant Home, Brantley’s Eshia Person put up two free throws to get within five.

The Lady Eagles did not let Brantley catch back up to them and sealed the sub-region victory with free throws and layups by Gunter and Gina Davis.

At the end of the game, Pleasant Home players cut down pieces of the basketball net for their win.

Garner said it was a good feeling to be able to do so after accomplishing “one of many goals.”

“That’s just an exciting feeling,” she said. “It’s a conclusion to one of many goals that we had. It’s just a celebration of hard work for the year. We were just glad to survive our scare and come out victorious.”

The leading scorers for Pleasant Home were Ariel Gunter and Erin Byrd with 13 points apiece.

Garner added everybody on her team did well.

“They all stepped up defensively,” Garner said. “They played so hard on defense and that’s what saved us. We weren’t able to score. Ariel Gunter stepped up defensively and Erin Byrd. Gina Davis and Brentin Fuller both had some defensive steals that they made. “They just all left it all on the floor and put their heart and soul into it,” she said. “We just did what we did to win and I’m proud of them. They have played so hard. This is the best we’ve done in years at Pleasant Home.”

Pleasant Home will face J.F. Shields Wed., Feb. 18, at Troy University in the first round of the Class 1A regional tournament.

Tip off is at Trojan Arena at 3 p.m.