Lady Bobcats outlast Calera in SW final

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

U o f SOUTH ALABAMA &045; After another hapless first quarter, as it has been all season long, the R. C. Hatch High School Lady Bobcats bounced back to knock down 9-of-12 shots, including two triples from Sheleta Banks, in the second quarter en route to a 52-49 win over the Calera High School Lady Eagles in the state girls 2A southwest regional championship.

It was their third regional championship in four years.

Ironically it was Calera that knocked them out last year.

The Hatch defense played almost flawless all night.

Their game plan was to stop Calera’s 6’2″ star, Shanavia Dowdell.

“We wanted to keep a triangle around her,” said a smiling Hatch coach Walter Abraham.

“We had someone on her where ever she went. We were not going to let her beat us.”

The Lady Bobcat defense held her to four points in the second quarter and just two points in the third quarter.

Hatch led 27-25 at the half, and led 42-36 after three quarters.

Each of the Lady Bobcats starters contributed in different phases of the game.

Banks and Latoria Page scored eight points each in the second quarter.

Ahjah Mitchell had 10 rebounds by half time.

Vinecia Dudley scored eight points in the third quarter, and Janita Essex shadowed Dowdell all night.

“We were confident that we could beat Calera,” added Abraham, “We didn’t come to Mobile to lose.

Dudley, who was voted tournament MVP, finished with 19 points and seven assists for Hatch.

Banks, who was selected to the all-tournament team, finished with 13 points.

Mitchell pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and had a trio of blocked shots.

Paige, also selected to the all-tournament team,

had eight points and nine rebounds.

Essex chipped in eight points.

Dowdell topped all scorers with 22 points for the Lady Eagles.

The Lady Bobcats travel to Birmingham for the state semi finals to play Sand Rock on Tuesday. Game time is set for 4 p.m.