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Florala , Alabama
February 2, 2011     The Florala News
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February 2, 2011

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PAGE 8 THE FLORALA NEWS WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011 FHS falls in overtime PAXTON STAR STUDENTS by Newton Peters "Our guys should a lot of character and fight [Monday night]," said Coach Brad Garner after a heartbreak- ing 53-63, overtime loss to Red Level. 'T/e really bat- tled and never gave up. This should give us a lot of con- fidence going into the area tournament." Florala fell behind 11-2 in the first quarter and looked as though they would be blown out by the talented 2A Red Level Tigers, The Tigers continued their nine- point advantage building a 9-18 advantage heading into the second quarter. The Wildcats begin their charge in the second quarter on a 4-0 run when Austin McNeil] hit a three-pointer with 5:15 left to bring the Wildcats to within four. The play was assisted by an inside pass from Hunter Oswald finding McNeill on the perimeter for the quick assist. "[Red Level] plays big in- side and it was important for us to work the game from the outside," said Garner on his team's strategy. The two teams traded baskets and JB Burleson had two big plays to pull Florala to within two points with less than two minutes to play in the half. The home crowd erupted to end the half after Lavo- ris Bali's basket pushed the Wildcats into their first lead of the game 24-23. Red Level used their size advantage in the second half to go on a 6-14 run and extend their lead to 30-37 before closing out the third quarter ahead 35-41. Erik Vega hit the first of two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to bring the Cats to within 3, but the Ti- gers quickly responded and pushed the game seemingly out of reach with a 43-48 ad- vantage and less than two minutes to play. The teams swapped baskets and with less :60 seconds remaining the score stood 45-51. The Wildcats defense stepped up and senior Lavoris Ball gathered two quick baskets to pull Florala to within two at 49-51 with .06 on the game clock. The Tigers used their size and bench advantage in overtime outscoring Florala 2-12 to post the win. Flo- rala could only manage two points in the overtime, both free throws from Lavoris Ball. Ball finished with 14 as Erik Vega led the Wild- cats with 15. Hunter Oswald had seven points, Austin McNeill three and JB Burleson ended with 6. It was 2 of John Bess's eight points that sent the game into overtime as the buzzer sounded. In junior varsity action, the Wildcats' Tamaris Ja- raison posted 16 of Florala's 20 points in the loss to Red Level. The Tigers b-team scored 43 in the victory, but it was the Wildcats' eight grader who showed promise for the future. Ryan Jordan added 4 in the loss. Both teams play in Thurs- day night's final regular sea- son game for the Wildcats as Florala host Georgiana. FLORALA "S JOHN BESS sends the game into overtime FLORALA "S TAMARIS JAMISON (22) scored 16 in the Wildcats Junior Varsity 43-20 loss to Red Level PAXTON STAR STUDENTS OF THE WEEK Each week, Paxton School teachers from grades K- 5th will recognize one student from their classroom who has demonstrated great citizenship or improved greatly academically or behaviorally. All students are encouraged to strive to be their best in and out of the classroom and believe such accomplishments should be recognized. (Back row, l-r): Dylan Tuggle, Jacob Nelson, Destiny Miller, Jared Price, Caleb Nolin, Kira Ianniello. ; (middle row, l-r): Dristen Broadway, Joshua Edgar, Hailey Ard, Emily Ogelsby, Ethan Burke, Megan Davis; (front row, l-r) Adam Burlison, Chrishawn Greasham, Tyler Wang, Jessica Ramirez, Brooklynn Robinson. mn Lady Bo pcat:00, are 22-2 for the year by Patrick Casey The Paxton Lady Bob- cats forced 18 turnovers and held the visiting Pace Patri- ots to 14-of-54 shooting from the floor as they picked up a 60-36 victory over the Class 5A squad on Jan. 24. Paxton took a 9-2 lead through the first four min- utes of the game as the Pa- triots were able to make only three shots from the floor during the opening quarter as they fell behind 15-6. Paxton went through a cool shooting spell to Start the second quarter but was able to maintain their lead with the help of freshman Emily Murray as she came off the bench to score her only five points of the night to help the home team to a 27-16 halftime advantage. Pace could make only three shots from the floor in the second quarter as they finished the first half hitting only 6-of-24 shots despite a significant size advantage under the basket. The third quarter be- longed to Paxton's guards as junior Rebecca Ferreira drilled five shots from be- hind the three-point line' to score all 15 of her points during that eight-minute span. Krysten Cuchens add- ed one shot of her own from behind the bonusphere as the Bobcats hit all six shots from the floor in the period from long distance. Pace hit only 8-of-30 shots from the flbor in the second half while 18 turnovers also hampered their offense on the night. Krysten Cuchens led the Bobcats with 20 points in the contest as she scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to stave off any comeback the Patriots had in mind. Ferreira fin- ished with 15 points while Alyssa Dupree posted 13 on the night. Paxton closed out the reg- ular season with a 54-37 win over Crestview on Thursday night as Krysten Cuchens led the way with 15 points. Paxton finished the regu- lar season with a 22-2 mark heading into the District 1, Class A tournament in Bethlehem. The Bobcats are the top seed in the event and will meet the winner of the Central-Poplar Springs contest on Friday, Feb. 4, a 6 p.m. with a berth into the. state playoffs on the line. : L Game Notes: Paxton has won 20+ games in seven of their last eight seasons. Pax- ton is 3-0 versus Pace since the 1992-93 season. Crest- view's 37 points are the most allowed by the Bobcats in their last 10 games. Paxton has:von 10 straight games anvill seek their seventh conutive district champi- onship this week. Steve Wil- liams is in his second year as head coach and holds a 41-12 record at Paxton. PAXTON SENIOR GUARD Krysten Cuchens(25) scored a combined 35 points in victories over Pace and Crestview as the Bobcats wrapped up the regular season with a 22-2 record. (Photo by Patrick Casey) PAXTON GIRLS BASKETBALL COACH Steve Wil- liams saw the Bobcats win their final two regular season games last week heading into district tournament competi- tion this week. The Bobcats are the Area 5"s top defensive team as they are allowing only 31.4points per game. (Photo by Patrick Casey) Florala High School Lady Cats defeat RL Tigers by Newton Peters The Florala Lady Wild- cats regained their com- posure and snapped a two game skid defeating 2A Red Level, 56-37. Florala went on an eight game winning streak to begin the 2011 cal- endar year and clinched the area title before falling back- to-back against Laurel Hill (38-55) and 4A Straughn (39-42) in their previous two outings. "We lost focus," said Head Coach Ronnie Driver follow- ing the Lady 'Cats Monday night victory. 'VVe may have peaked a week early, but the team showed a lot of character in regaining their momentum." The former superintendent of schools and long time coach wasn't looking too far in advance as his team will be hosting the area tournament next week and is hopeful of a return to the regional tournament at South Alabama. "We will take them one game at a time. Our main focus is this Thursday with Georgiana and then focus on [next week's area tournament opener with] Kinston." Florala ends their regu- lar season this Thursday for Senior Night against 1A Georgiana and will host the Girls' Area Tournament next Thursday and Satur- day. However, it was Monday night's exciting win over Red Level that produced smiles on the coach's face and had the players excited about their chances in the playoffs. The Lady Cats' two lead- ing scorers got Florala off to a quick start as Paige Irwin hit an opening basket fol- lowed by Justina Clissold on back-to-back three pointers for a quick 8-0 lead. Florala, while over sized in the paint against the Lady Tigers, would never be challenged in the game and cruise to a victory. Clissold, celebrated her birthday and ended the night with 22 points while Irwin led the Wildcats with 26. Mariah Thompson added four and Alicia Morgan and Lindsay Edwards each added two. Florala improved to 11-6 on the season and looks to get past the sub-region round hosting their second straight area tournament. The Lady Wildcats won the tournament last season, but fell to Providence Christian to end their season. Thursday's game will also be Senior Night with a spe- cial presentation following the Lady Wildcat's contest and before the varsity boys take the court. #20 Justina Clissold scored 22 celebrating a birthday and a Florala win over Red Level #11 PAIGE IRWIN scored 26 to lead Florala over Red Level. Alicia Morgan (25), Lindsay edwards and Mariah Thompson (3) in support COACH DRIVER, Lindsay Edwards (2), Mariah THomp- son, Paige Irwin (22), Alicia Morgan, Justina Clissold (20) discuss second half strategies in Monday Night's 56-37 win over Red Level.