SWEET 16 BOUND: Lights-out performance propels Straughn to sub-regional rout of Providence

Published 9:15 am Sunday, February 11, 2024

Straughn trailed by one in the first period but held Providence Christian scoreless for nearly two and a half periods for a 65-16 win in a 3A girls’ sub-regional game on Friday, Feb. 9.

Bryleigh McBride attempts a three-pointer for the Lady Tigers as Laura Faulk defends the shot for the Lady Eagles. McBride finished with nine points in the game and had three of the team’s 10 three-pointers.

The Lady Tigers pushed their record to 20-7 with their fourth straight sub-regional victory over the Lady Eagles who ended the year at 21-9.

“I’m honestly still in awe of how great we played. We had a great week at practice and worked on everything that was to be expected from Providence Christian. Our offense and defense were both solid throughout the entire game. All of their hard work this season is paying off. To say I am proud is an understatement. Now it’s time to get back to work and prepare for our next game,” SHS Head Coach Calen Lowery said.

Providence drew first blood with a bucket from Annabeth Townsend before Bryleigh McBride fired the first of 10 three-pointers by the host squad. Allyx Williamson and Townsend each scored four points as neither side led by more than one point. That changed when Ora Hall banked a three for a 10-6 lead. Carlee Smith countered with the only visiting triple, and Addie Pemberton had two free throws for an 11-10 advantage with 3:15 left in the frame. Straughn seized control with a 13-point swing that saw threes from Blakeley Smith, McBride, and Hall along with four points by A. Williamson. Pemberton had a jumper as Hall swished her third trifecta for a 26-13 lead after one.

Allyx Williamson makes a strong push amongst the Providence defense to put two points on the board for Straughn. Williamson posted a career-high 24 points.

The Lady Tigers erupted with a 23-point second period and kept the Lady Eagles off the scoreboard with a stifling defense. Aubrey Pittman quickly found the net for two, while Smith drained a three. A. Williamson stretched the margin to 33-13 with 5:50 remaining in the first half and tallied six consecutive points. Pittman added another jumper as Smith earned five off her third triple and a layup for a 44-13 lead. McBride also torched the net from long range for a third time before A. Williamson scored on a fast break and sent the game to halftime with a 49-13 advantage.

Straughn cooled off slightly in the third period and did not find the hoop until the 5:58 mark when A. Williamson made a bucket and had six in the frame. Tori Canant etched her name into the scoring column with a field goal, while Smith went one-of-two at the line. Providence’s cold woes continued and propelled the home side to a 60-13 lead after three.

A running clock went into effect for the fourth period. Pemberton ended the nearly 21-minute scoreless drought on a bucket halfway through the fourth. A. Williamson then rang her 11th basket of the night. Reagan Elmore had the final point for the Lady Eagles at the foul line. Alcee Radford capped the scoring with Straughn’s 10th three-pointer on the night.

Ora Hall converts a jump shot for the Lady Tigers against the Lady Eagles’ Jane Claire Mobley. Hall notched 11 points and three three-pointers.

Three Lady Tigers finished with double-digit showings in the win. A. Williamson paced all scorers with a career-high 24 points. Smith was next with 12 followed by Hall who contributed 11. McBride notched nine points as Pittman earned four.

Straughn’s Tori Canant gets past Providence’s Addie Pemberton for a bucket in the fourth period.

Townsend and Pemberton led the Lady Eagles with six points each. Smith had three, and Elmore rounded out the scoring with one.

“We are really excited after tonight’s win. We came out, fought hard, and played as a team, so we will celebrate this win and keep preparing for who we have next. All the glory goes to God and go Tigers,” McBride said.

Straughn will travel to Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum for the 3A South Regional semi-finals against New Brockton (20-5) on Friday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m.