Lady Devils go Greek

Published 7:23 pm Monday, February 19, 2007

By By Matthew Nascone
The Lady Blue Devils almost let their trip to Troy University slip right through their fingertips Thursday in Andalusia. But after a tough 48-47 loss to the Thomasville Lady Tigers in the AHSAA Class 4A, Area 1 Tournament championship game, the Lady Blue Devils responded with a 41-33 victory over Andalusia High School in Game Two of the South Sub-Regionals.
"We still have not lost any games on the road besides tournaments," ECHS head coach Todd Reynolds said. "This was a breath of fresh air."
The Lady Devils held a 31-20 lead after three quarters, but the Lady Bulldogs did not go away and the score was 35-32 in favor of ECHS with less than two minutes showing on the clock in the fourth quarter.
"Well we tried to give it away," Reynolds said. "But as I told (the girls) good teams are not going to just let you walk the dog on them the whole way. But they stepped up there at the end and weathered the storm by making some clutch free throws down the line and that was the difference."
Free throws were the key to the victory over Andalusia, Reynolds said. The team shot 15-for-21 from the charity stripe and connected on six of nine attempts in the fourth quarter.
ECHS sophomore Courtney English was 6-for-7 in the game from the line and senior Ashanti Jones was 7-for-8. Jones nailed two free throws with 16 seconds to go in the game to push it to an unreachable three-possession ECHS advantage.
The Lady Devils dominated the first three quarters of play and seemed like a team hungry to reach the regional competition in Troy. ECHS jumped out to a 12-4 lead in the first quarter and smothered Andalusia with a press defense.
"Our goal was to shut down their two best players and one of them was in foul trouble the whole game and the other only scored 10 points," Reynolds said. "We wanted their other players to beat us and they were making some tough shots at the end, but we weathered the storm. Our defense was great again."
The Lady Devils were outscored in the second quarter, 12-9, but still led 21-16 at the break. They expanded the lead again by the end of the third quarter to 31-20 and held on for the win and spot in the Regional Tournament.
Jasmine Sanders led the Lady Devils with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Jones added 15 points and five assists. Ashley Kidd only scored two points and grabbed seven rebounds, but she shut down the Lady Bulldogs top scorer, Brooke Awserson. English scored six points and snagged four rebounds. Latesha Lee added six points and three assists.
The Lady Devils face Dadeville High School Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Davis Field House on the Troy University campus in Troy. If they win they will play in the South Regional Final at 9 a.m. Saturday. The winner of the region travels to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham for the State Final Four.
"I am extremely proud of these ladies for coming back from a tough loss with excellent character and excellent defense," Reynolds said. "And now we will continue to take it one game at a time and work on some stuff this week to get ready for Troy."

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