LADY LIONS STUN OAK MOUNTAIN, 63-61 TO ADVANCE TO CENTRAL REGIONAL
February 15, 2013By Jimmy White of Prattville High School
AALIYAH HOLMES' LONG TREY SINKS EAGLES IN LIONS DRAMATIC COMEBACK FROM TEN POINTS DOWN
McKenzie Garmany connected on a two pointer just inside the circle Thursday night, February 14, giving the Oak Mountain Lady Eagles a 55-45 lead over the home town Prattville Lions in the Central sub-regional finals.
There was 3:26 left to play. Prattville’s dreams of making it to the Central Regional tournament to be held at Alabama State University were slowly slipping away.
Lion coach Virginia Barber never wavered in her belief that her team would quit. Barber calmly took a time out and told the young ladies to “Play the best defense of their career.” The young Lady Lions did.
Prattville reeling from the ten point deficit got off the hardwood floor and zapped Oak Mountain in the final three minutes 18-6 to win, 63-61, and advanced to the Central Region for the first time since 2000.
During this incredible run, Lion freshman Aaliyah Holmes, scored 11 of her 15 points, including hitting a trey with 55 seconds left to knot the game at 57-all, then hitting the game winning three-pointer with 4.3 seconds remaining.
During the 18-6 run Prattville’s defense forced three turnovers all resulting in points for the Lions. So stingy were the Lions defense that the Eagles could connect on only one field goal and that came with 23.8 seconds left giving the Eagles a 60-59 lead.
Seconds later Holmes was fouled and hit the front end of a two point foul to knot the game at 60-all. The Lions got a turnover at the Eagles end of the court setting the stage for Homes dramatic trey from downtown.
After Holmes trey put Prattville up 63-60 with 4.3 seconds left a hush came over the loud and rambunctious Prattville home crowd when a basketball rolled out on the court forcing the officials to call a technical foul on Prattville. The technical foul sent Oak Mountain to the free throw line for two shots and possession of the ball at half court.
Garmany missed the front end but connected on the bottom trimming the lead to 63-61. On the throw in Germany’s shot from three point range clanked off the backboard as Prattville wildly celebrated an unbelievable come back.
During Holmes 11-point outburst in the final three minutes Daniel Ewert also tossed in three field goals and a free throw for seven points. Holmes connected on five of six free throws, plus the two treys for her 11 points. She also had four points earlier for a total of 15 during the game.
Daniele Ewert added another double-double to her repertory with 22 points and 18 boards, while Jae Patterson added a double-double with 23 boards and 18 points.
Prattville led only three times in the contest until the final seconds. Dazhanae Legette’s trey with 4:08 in the first period put the Lions on top 5-4, and Jae Patterson’s two free throws gave Prattville a 7-6 lead at the 3:48 mark.
Oak Mountain then went on top at the 3:21 mark, 9-7, and led for the remaining of the quarter.
Ewert’s free throw knotted the game at 5:48 of the first half, 20-20. Her free throw gave Prattville a 21-20 lead followed by Holmes two pointer from the lane and a 23-20 Prattville lead.
Garmany’s trey knotted the game again at the 3:20 mark. Ewert went coast to coast with a layup and a 25-23 Prattville lead. It would be the last Prattville margin until the final hectic three minutes. Garmancy’s trey put the Eagles back on top 26-25.
Oak Mountain led at the close of the first period 16-12 and at halftime, 31-30, and then stretched the lead to five points at the close of the third period 46-41.
The Lions will face a familiar foe, Jeff Davis Wednesday February 20 at noon in the Central Regional at Alabama State University. The Volunteers won both encounters rather handily. December 11 in Montgomery Prattville fell, 74-38, and at home on February 1 Jeff Davis ran past the Lions, 55-38.