Falkville girls lose heartbreakerPublished 4:57pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Lady Devils take defending champs to wire
BIRMINGHAM – Falkville took defending 1A girls champion Brantley to the brink, but the Lady Blue Devils left the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center Arena with broken hearts, after Brantley edged Falkville 56-54 Tuesday morning.
The Lady Bulldogs took a seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, breaking a 37-37 tie at the end of the third quarter.
But the Blue Devils fought back. Makenzie Smith hit back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 51-48.
Kaitlyn Boyer hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play, cutting the lead to 55-54.
Amahni Upshaw hit one of two free throws, setting up Falkville’s last possession with 15 seconds to play.
Initially, head coach Jeff Andrews set up a play for a 3-pointer from the left wing, which was off the mark.
Falkville won the tie-up on the rebound with 5.7 seconds to play. Andrews decided to lob the ball inside to Emily Mickelson, who had the option to take the shot or pass the ball to an open shooter.
However, the ball didn’t make it there.
Brantley’s Payton Burnett tipped away the inbounds pass, sending the ball into the backcourt and preventing Falkville from attempting a game-winning shot.
“We’ve run that play a couple of times this year and had success with it,” Andrews said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d probably try something else. We only had five seconds. We didn’t really have a whole lot of time to work with.”
Autumn Eddy led Falkville with 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Mickelson and Smith each had 11 points and five rebounds. Bailey Anders and McKenzie Newman each scored six followed by Patricia Kilgore with four points and five assists and Boyer with three points.
While the Lady Blue Devils were disappointed with the outcome, Mickelson said the experience of playing in Birmingham was unbelievable for her team. She believes her team will learn from it and return.
“Unless you’ve been in this position or coached in this position, you can’t imagine how unreal and exciting it is, even after a loss,” Mickelson said. “It’s the memories like this that is going to bring us back next year.”
Photos courtesy of Kelly Miller