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Florala girls win area title

Florala came out on top Saturday night to win the Class 1A, Area 3 championship game over Pleasant Home, 51-43.

Paige Irwin and Brooke Hammonds led the Lady Wildcats with 18 points each in the win. Mariah Thompson chipped in 11.

Florala girls coach Ronnie Driver said he knew that his team was going to have a good night Saturday.

“They came out focused tonight,” he said. “I thought I could tell before the game started that they were very focused. I felt like (Pleasant Home was) going to play a good game.”

Florala (13-9) jumped out to a 15-7 after the first quarter and didn’t let up for the rest of the first half, leading 27-14 at halftime.

In the second half, Pleasant Home (14-11) outscored Florala 29-24, but came up short in the end.

The Lady Eagles’ late rally in the fourth quarter breathed some life on their bench causing a frenzy in the crowd.

“They played with guts and they showed a lot of character,” Pleasant Home girls coach Kelley Garner said. “I challenged them before the game that when they didn’t have anything else just to dig deeper — and that’s what they did.”

In the end, it all came down to free throws, where Irwin was 6-of-9 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter alone.

Florala was 15-of-28 from the line, whereas Pleasant Home was 7-of-15.

Brentin Fuller led Pleasant Home with 16 points. Mary Schwartz added 10 and Taylor Godwin had nine.

Florala will host Providence Christian next Thurs., Feb. 11 in the Class 1A South Sub-Regional and Pleasant Home will travel to play Brantley.

Both games start at 7 p.m.

Class 1A, Area 3 All-Tournament team

Agee Evans — Kinston; Aleshia Stuckey and Daizia Womack — McKenzie; Taylor Godwin, Gina Davis and Kayla Woods — Pleasant Home; Heather Hammonds, Mariah Thompson, Brooke Hammonds and Paige Irwin — Florala.