WILDCATS END LADY LIONS SEASON IN AREA 8 PLAYOFFS
February 11, 2012By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
BENJAMIN RUSSELL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LION TURNOVERS TO POST EASY WIN, 63-40
It wasn’t the ending to the 2011-2012 season that Prattville coaches Virginia Kerger and Tiffany Wright wanted for the Lady Lions. Realizing this was an enormous rebuilding year with only three seniors on the squad, and only one of those that had much playing time, the team had struggled. However the Lions had played better toward the close of the regular season winning three out of the final five.
But Thursday night, February 9, in Wetumpka playing in the opening round of the Area 8 Class 6A playoffs, the team couldn’t figure out Benjamin Russell’s 1-3-1 defense. The result was perhaps the worst performance of the year for the young team.
The Wildcats’ sophomore Torcealon Kelley (5-9) lit up the scoreboard, and the defense forced the Lions into 36 turnovers, which resulted in 28 points off the turnovers to end Prattville’s season on a sour note, 63-40.
Benjamin Russell set the tone for the evening in the first quarter. With the score knotted at 4-all after Bridgejae Patterson flipped in a 2-pointer off the glass from the paint after two minutes of play, Kelley got a turnover and zipped down court with a coast to coast trip to give the Wildcats a 6-4 lead.
Kelley’s steal of an erratic Prattville pass ignited a 9-0 run that put the Wildcats up 15-4. Benjamin Russell never looked back cruising to the easy win over the less than enthusiastic Prattville Lions.
The Wildcats enjoyed ten Prattville turnovers in the first period alone than resulted in four easy layups.
After Daniele Ewert hit two free throws with 3:21 left in the half to trim the Cats lead to six points, 23-17, Ben Russell ended the half with a 7-0 run, all points coming off turnovers for a 30-17 halftime margin.
Prattville would not score again until 6:39 was left in the third quarter when Daniele Ewert got a steal and fired a long pass to Kali Grove for a layup breaking a 13-0 run.
By the end of the third quarter the Wildcats were on cruise control with a 30 point, 54-24 lead.
Give the Lions credit, they would not fold up the tent and fought back in the final period to win the fourth quarter, 16-9. It was too little too late as the curtain fell on the season.
Daniele Ewert will have to wait until the winter of 2012-2013 to hit the elusive 1,000 point mark. Ewert ended up with 16-points and pulled down 15-boards. The flashy junior ended the season with 939 points for her career at PHS.
Bridghejae Patterson followed Ewert with ten points and eight boards, all in the first half
For the victorious Wildcats, Torealon Kelly was tops with 18-points, followed by Jernika Russell (6-0) with nine points, Tyniewskia Buckner added eight points and Aaliyah Lawson (5-8) added seven points. Only Buckner is a senior; Kelley, Russell and Lawson are sophomores.
The Wildcats will fall from class 6A to Class 5A for the next two seasons. With the three sophomores returning, and add three freshmen, and two juniors Benjamin Russell could be a factor next winter in class 5A.
Benjamin Russell will face Wetumpka in Saturday’s finale. Both will advance to the sub-regional finals. The two teams spilt the regular season. Wetumpka won at home, 58-41, and Ben Russell won in Alexander City, 61-52.
Prattville ended the season with a 9-17 record.