Brewer, Northway’s run ends in semifinalsPublished 7:00pm Thursday, February 27, 2014
BIRMINGHAM – Five years ago, Riley Northway and Savana Flack watched Brewer play LeFlore in the Class 5A championship game at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center.
After the semifinal matchup, Brewer head coach Ricky Allen saw the then seventh graders sitting in the stands.
He made a promise to them that day.
“While you’re at Brewer, we’re going to do this four times,” Allen said.
Northway, Flack and fellow seniors Cheyenne McLemore and Emily Oden wanted end their careers with a second state championship.
However, Sylacauga’s Shakayla Thomas would not be denied a spot in Saturday’s Class 5A title game.
The Florida State signee exploded for 16 of her tournament-high 40 points in the second quarter to turn a 19-point deficit into a 77-53 win in the Class 5A semifinals Thursday.
Allen said they just committed too many turnovers in the loss, but it doesn’t change what he feels about his senior class that took the program to unprecedented heights.
“When I walked into the dressing room, the only thing I could think to say to them was that I hope they understand, seniors in particular, what they mean to Brewer High School and the Florette community,” Allen said. “They’ve brought a respectability that we’ve been working for a long time to accomplish. Sure, if we’d one by one point, our mood would be totally different, but as far as the way I feel about these young ladies, the score had no reflection on it whatsoever.”
Northway recognized just what kind of accomplishment that she and her teammates made over the last four years.
“It just goes to show that when you put in the hard work, you can achieve those goals,” Northway said. “It’s just good to see that our hard work turned into four appearances in the Final Four.”
Brewer had their way through the first nine minutes of the game. Northway hit a 3-pointer at the 7:18 mark of the second quarter to cap Brewer’s 28-9 outburst to open the game.
Northway had 20 points at that point, but Thomas would limit her to just six more points for the rest of the game.
Thomas and Tierra Dark, who also score 21 herself, helped lead a 43-7 run over the next 15 minutes give Sylacauga a 52-35 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Brewer didn’t give up, but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Northway finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds in her final game while Malerie Drinkard had 11 points, nine rebounds and three assists.
Oden had seven points before fouling out in the fourth quarter followed by McLemore with six points, Tamera Chatman with two points and Flack with one point and 11 rebounds.