Prep hoops: Brooks bounces back in MA win

Prep hoops: Brooks bounces back in MA win


Prep hoops: Brooks bounces back in MA win


Jade Brooks was not ready to play.

The Montgomery Academy freshman played on the big stage of the Central Regional basketball semifinals before, but for whatever reason, she was uneasy about Monday’s rematch with R.C. Hatch.

“I think I got a little bit nervous at first,” Brooks said. “I was playing lazy and pretty much just got nervous.”

Brooks scored all 14 of her points in the second half as Montgomery Academy relied on stingy defense and opportunistic offense to cruise past R.C. Hatch, 56-35, in a Class 2A girls basketball Central Regional semifinal Monday evening at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

In a rematch of last year’s regional final, it was the Eagles who prevailed while the Bobcats struggled with ball security. R.C. Hatch won last year’s game thanks in large part to 28 M.A. turnovers, but the roles reversed on Monday as the Bobcats gave it away 28 times and shot just 25 percent (12-for-47) from the field.

“We wanted to get back here and kind of figured we would probably see this team again,” Montgomery Academy coach Barry Fencher said. “That was one of the things all season, all preseason long we worked on ball handling, taking care of the ball, and putting the shoe on the other foot, trying to get them to play our game.”

The Eagles held a 25-19 lead at the break while Brooks spent most of the first half on the bench in early foul trouble. Once she returned, the Eagles took off.

The freshman guard went 6-for-14 in the second half as Montgomery Academy outscored R.C. Hatch 31-16.

“She came to me and said she wasn’t ready to play. She knew I knew she wasn’t ready to play, but I knew once she got back out there she was motivated,” Fencher said. “You could see in the third quarter she was the dominating factor out there.”

Montgomery Academy (23-5) will try to win its third Regional title in four years, matching its feats of 2011 and ’12, when it takes on Aliceville in the central finals at 6:20 p.m. Thursday.

Rachel Lee had 12 points, Caroline Lester had 10 and Kayla White had 14 rebounds for the Eagles, who opened the second half on an 8-0 run to open up a 33-19 lead.

Miranda Jones scored 13 points and Narcissie Howard had 10 rebounds for R.C. Hatch (12-11).

Aliceville advances with strong ‘D’

Tkeyah Plott had 19 points, 11 rebounds and added six steals to lead a strangling Aliceville defense past Luverne, 63-45, in the earlier 2A regional semifinal.

Aliceville (18-4) forced 27 turnovers, including 10 during the fourth quarter, in a dominant 42-21 second half.

“We made some adjustments at halftime to make them play more of a half court,” Aliceville coach Sebastian Shamery said. “We stopped them from going right, we knew we could turn the game around.”

Alexis Garner scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had four steals, and Demi Wilkins and Zharia Eddins each had 10 points for the Yellow Jackets, who advance to play Montgomery Academy in the regional finals.

Nyjah Thomas scored 14 and had nine rebounds, Shakia Brantley had 13 and Alexus Redmon added 12 points for Luverne (17-10), which reached a regional for the first time since 1997. The Tigers have never made a regional final.


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