Lady Bears win second straight area titlePublished 11:24pm Monday, February 11, 2013
ORRVILLE — It was a close game early in the first half, but the No. 8 Keith Lady Bears pulled away for a 64-47 win over the Autaugaville Lady Eagles to claim their second straight area championship on Monday.
Cecil Williams, head girls basketball coach of Keith (27-3, ranked No. 8 in Class 1A), said the Lady Bears were able to overcome pressure early to win Monday’s Class 1A Area 5 title game.
“The girls were more relaxed. They were a little uptight, having a little a pressure being in the area championship game,” Williams said. “They put a little bit too much pressure on themselves. We came out after halftime and talked to them, and they kind of relaxed and started back playing our kind of basketball.”
The Lady Bears held a slim 17-13 lead after the first quarter, but opened the game up in the second.
Keith scored the first nine points of the second, including five points by Harriet Winchester and baskets by Lyteisha Phillips and Shatavia Moore that made it a 26-13 game with 4:58 left to play in the quarter.
Autaugaville scored its first points of the quarter with a 3-pointer by Keshay Steele and added three more on a few free throws by Verlonda Hopson that made the score 26-19 with 3:42 remaining in the first half.
But the Lady Bears responded by scoring the next seven points of the quarter, which helped Keith take a 33-21 lead into halftime.
Keith picked up right where it left off in the second, as Zykia Pettway scored the first nine points of the half under the basket for the Lady Bears and helped them take a 42-27 lead early in the third.
The Lady Bears went on to take a 53-29 lead heading into the fourth.
Pettway led the Lady Bears with 24 points, while Winchester, who was named tournament most valuable player, added 17 points.
Phillips had 12 points for the Lady Bears.
Kierra Davis led Autaugaville with 22 points.
Keith will take the floor again on Thursday at home against Berry High School in the sub-regionals starting at 7 p.m.