By Mark Clark
The Central High Lady Red Devils finished up the regular season last Friday night at home against Eufaula High – a team that beat Central by 20 points earlier this season in Eufaula. With the victory, Central, 16-12, was scheduled to face Smiths Station High last night in Auburn.
Central has already defeated Smiths Station twice this season, both times convincingly. The two teams were scheduled to play in the first round of the area tournament last night in Auburn. The winner advanced to the area tournament’s championship.
“We put more pressure on them than we did the first time we played Eufaula. But, we also improved in this game on our report card. We performed much better on our own court. We worked hard on our free throws and on our defense in last week’s game. It paid off for us. We used three-point shots to keep a lead over Eufaula. We got two threes from Alleya King and Aliyah Spivey made three of the shots for us ,” Carolyn Wright said.
“We played well against Eufaula. We got a big lead and held on to win. We also figured that we still had to stop them from scoring like they did the first time we met them. We did those things plus we ran a full-court press on them all night,” said Wright.
So, what will it take to defeat Auburn?
“It is going to take us focusing on what we do best. We have to have some girls step up for us. They have got to score and they have to rebound better as a group,” Wright said.
Wright said her squad needed to play its best to beat Auburn. The team has got to put the ball up when it has a shot.”
“We have not been shooting like we should in some recent games. We cannot afford to give up easy baskets. We have to take what they are willing to give us. We also have to cut down on our turnovers,” Wright said.
Central was slated to play Smiths Station last night with the winner advancing to the Area Tournament final and earning a spot in the South Central Regional in Montgomery next week.
Central closed out the regular season with a 67-62 victory over Eufaula. The Lady Red Devils had seven players score points in the win.
“We were trying to get all of the girls involved in our scoring. I think we did a pretty good job of doing that.” said Wright.
King led Central’s scorers with 15 points. Eryn Johnson had 11 points and Sierra Roberts scored 10 points to account for the Lady Red Devils in double figures. Four more players scored between six and eight points.
Central trailed 17-13 after a quarter. By the half, Central had taken a 30-27 advantage. The Lady Red Devils pulled a little further ahead in the third quarter as they outscored Eufaula 22-15 to lead 52-44. Eufaula tried to rally in the fourth quarter, but could not get closer than its final five-point margin of loss, 67-62.
The championship game of the area tournament for the girls will be held on Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Auburn High. The winner will receive the No. 1 seed in its bracket of the South Central Regional. The loser will be the No. 2 seed. The winner of the regional tournament will advance to the Super 7 Championship tournament in Birmingham.