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Alba-Golden girls basketball poised for playoffs

Gracie Pendergrass finds herself looking
at a wide-open shot while Grand Saline
defenders Shayne Carnes (5) and Kenzie
Gardner appear to be frozen in their tracks during the final game of the regular 2016-2017 girls basketball season last Tuesday night at Alba. (Monitor photos by Tommy Anderson)     Concentration is evident in the eyes of Alba-Golden’s Shelby Wright (3) and Grand Saline’s Payton Stanley (32) as they present a tangle of arms and hands while battling for a rebound in last Tuesday’s District 13-3A game at Alba.


The Alba-Golden Lady Panthers took Friday night off, and a well-deserved night off it was. Coach Blake Hamrick’s squad had just completed a grueling 33-game regular season schedule on Tuesday night with a well-played 50-34 victory over Grand Saline.

That win elevated the Lady Panthers’ season record to a lofty 26-7 mark and saw them finish District 12-3A competition with a perfect 14-0 mark to easily walk away with the District Championship.

By taking Friday night off instead of finding a warm-up game for the state playoffs, Hamrick gave his crew a rest as they prepared to open the playoffs, which he hopes will be a lengthy second season.

Alba-Golden was scheduled to begin the playoffs on Tuesday night (after Monitor press time) at Wills Point with a 6 p.m. tipoff against Hampton Prep from District 11-3A. Hampton Prep finished fourth in its district, losing its final regular season to second place 11-3A finisher Life Oak Cliff, 95-22.

Hampton Prep has just three seniors on its squad, 5’10” center Mya Fuller, 5’5” guard Daja Gordon, and 5’5” guard Savannah Jones, who is captain of the squad. The Hampton Prep roster also includes one junior, two sophomores and seven freshmen.

As Alba-Golden began it season it had designs on making it lengthier that the 2016 post-season, when the Lady Panthers went four games deep into the battle for a berth in the state tournament. To make the state tournament a team will have to claim five straight victories without a defeat, which would earn it a regional championship and one of four Class 3A berths at the big show.

Last Tuesday night at Alba, Grand Saline kept the contest fairly interesting before the Lady Panthers kicked into gear and moved on out to their 16-point victory by outscoring the Lady Indians 19-11 in the final period.

It was no surprise that the Lady Panther scoring parade was paced by senior Shelby Wright with a 24-point total on four two-point buckets, three three-point bombs and a seven-for-10 performance at the free throw line. Wright was the big gun for Alba-Golden in the first quarter, hitting 10 of the Lady Panthers’ 14 points.

Also, lending strong scoring support for the Lady Panthers were Briana Weissert and Grace Pendergrass with eight points each and Kenzie Chadwick with six points.

Brooklyn Bolin and Kenzie Gardner tied for Grand Saline scoring honors with eight points each.


This article, written by Tommy Anderson, was originally published at www.woodcountymonitor.com.

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