Lady Eagles title run cut short

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jade Self attempts a fadeaway jumper against the Bulldogs on Tuesday.

Jade Self attempts a fadeaway jumper against the Bulldogs on Tuesday.

Pleasant Home’s season came to a halt Tuesday night as the Lady Eagles were knocked off by top-ranked Brantley in the AHSAA South Regional championship.


The Lady Eagles got on the scoreboard first in the opening period. Jade Self hit River Baldwin under the basket, and Baldwin finished the play off with 2 points.


Saquaya Lane tied the game up moments later for the Lady Bulldogs with a short jumper. After a missed shot by the Lady Eagles, Sydnee Bryan put the Lady Bulldogs up 5-2 with a 3-pointer.


The Lady Eagles answered right back when Cassidy Godwin knocked down a basket in the lane.


Anna Bulger put the Lady Eagles on top with a shot from the corner. Baldwin was credited with the assist.


The Lady Bulldogs tied the game at 6-6 as Amanhi Upshaw hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line.


The Lady Bulldogs pushed the lead up to 8-6 with Payton Burnett’s first 2 points of the contest.


Upshaw extended the Lady Bulldogs’ lead with 1:41 left in the first period with a strong layup through traffic.


The final points of the first period came from Burnett, and the Lady Bulldogs led 12-6 at the end of one.


Godwin started off the second period with a strong drive to the basket. The shot was off the mark, but Godwin was fouled on the play and went to the line for two shots. Godwin hit the back end of the opportunities, and the Lady Eagles trailed 12-7 early in the second period.


Burnett put the Lady Bulldogs’ first points of the second period with a layup.


Upshaw put the Lady Bulldogs up 15-7 with a 1-for-2 trip to the foul line.


With 5:42 left in the second period, Lane was fouled on layup. The shot was good, and Lane converted the 3-point play the old-fashioned way. The Lady Bulldogs led 18-7.


Self got the lead back to single digits moments later with a 3-pointer that put the Lady Eagles down by 8.


Upshaw quickly returned the lead to double digits with a fastbreak layup moments later.

The Eagles weren’t going to go away quietly, though. Bulger found her sweet spot in the corner, and nailed a mid-range jumper to make the score 20-12 going into halftime.


The Lady Eagles opened up the third period with 2 quick points from Godwin.  A few seconds later, Godwin had the ball again, and was fouled in the act of shooting. Godwin hit the front end of the foul shots, and the Lady Eagles had brought the score to 20-15 with 6:11 seconds left in the third period.


Following Godwin’s free throw, the Lady Bulldogs employed a stall tactic. The Lady Bulldogs moved the ball to their end of the court, and the Upshaw held the ball up top for nearly five minutes. With 1:35 left in the period, Upshaw passed to Burnett, who then sank a shot from the corner.


The Lady Bulldogs held a 22-15 lead heading into the final period.


The Lady Bulldogs struck first in the fourth period when Upshaw hit a 2-point shot 30 seconds into the period.


The Lady Eagles first point of the final period came from a 1-for-2 trip to the free throw line for Baldwin. The Lady Eagles trailed 24-16 with six minutes left.


The Lady Bulldogs shut the door with an 8-0 run over the next two minutes of the game. Lane and Burnett each had 4 points during the run. The Lady Bulldogs lead 32-16 with four minutes left.


Baldwin had the Lady Eagles final points with a 2-for-2 trip to the free throw line.


The final 3 points of the contest came from Alex Wilcox and Burnett to give the Lady Bulldogs a 35-18 victory, and a trip to Birmingham.


The Lady Bulldogs were led in scoring by Burnett with 14 points. Lane finished with 9 points. Upshaw totaled 8 points, and 16 rebounds in the contest.


Godwin led the Lady Eagles with 6 points. Baldwin finished the night with 5 points, and 8 rebounds.


“It was a successful season,” Godwin said. “It is hard to see it end, but we gave it a good try.”


Godwin and Self earned All-Tournament team honors following the game.


“Brantley is a very good team,” Lady Eagles’ head coach Jerry Davis said. “They are the two-time defending state champions for a reason, and they have a good shot at a three-peat. The good thing about Brantley is that they have a lot of seniors, so we won’t have to face this bunch anymore. We only have one senior (Self) leaving us, and I think she will go on to play at the next level. It won’t be easy finding someone to feel Jade’s shoes.  We have a good ball team, but we just haven’t played well lately. It’s hard to lose these games, and there isn’t anything you can say to make them feel any better.”