A shorthanded Montgomery Academy squad continued its impressive run through its season-opening tournament, burying Class 5A Fairfield in a barrage of 3-pointers, 72-64, in the Montgomery Academy Tipoff Classic on Tuesday at Joe Mooty Court.
The Eagles used a pair of 3-pointers from Gabby Ramirez, a pair of long-range shots from Julia Williams and another from Madi Caddell to jump out to an early lead. Fairfield fought back to tie the game and briefly took a three-point lead before Montgomery Academy went on another run – this one relying on transition layups off of turnovers – to grab another 16-point lead on the way to a 2-0 start.
“It was a good game to build some depth and gain some confidence,” MA coach Barry Fencher said. “Julia Williams played really well and Madi started playing better. Anaya (Thomas) really played well for us. In the second half, she rebounded and finished (shots). She’s really going to help us. Anaya has really been playing well for us.”
The Eagles won for the second consecutive day without last year’s leading scorer, Leighton Robertson, and three valuable reserves – Virginia Meacham, Millie Stevenson and Sarah Campbell Hughes – all away on a school-sponsored trip.
Fencher promoted two players up from the junior varsity to provide some numbers, but was forced to rely on Gabby Ramirez to handle the ball for most of the contest. Ramirez responded with six 3-pointers, finishing with 23 points and six assists.
“She’s the motor for the guards,” Fencher said. “We want her to handle it. It really hurt not having my depth because Millie could have given her a break. We missed too much guard play to give her depth.
In the first half, the Eagles’ perimeter shooting was enough to take a 26-24 lead into the locker room, but the play of Thomas, who had 14 of her 16 points in the second half and finished with 10 rebounds, was crucial in the win. Ann Cobern Chapman had 16 rebounds to go along with her three points, which allowed the Eagles to hold off the Tigers down the stretch.
Sonjacia Nunn had 21 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter for Fairfield before Ramirez put the game away at the free-throw line.
“I watched her in their last game against LAMP and she sliced them and diced them,” Fencher said. “I told (MA defenders) to make her shoot it. If she’s making those, we’ll let her live and die with them. We can’t stretch (the defense) out there and let her drive and get my post people in foul trouble.”
Williams finished with 14 points and Caddell added 12 for Montgomery Academy (2-0), which will face St. Luke’s Episcopal, a 41-34 winner over Central-Hayneville, in the championship game on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Fairfield will play Central-Hayneville in the third-place game on Wednesday at noon.
In other tournament games, Marbury defeated Loachapoka 52-48 and Jeff Davis beat LAMP 52-34. LAMP and Loachapoka will play in the seventh-place game on Wednesday at 9 a.m., while Marbury and Jeff Davis will play in the fifth-place game on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Jeff Davis 52, LAMP 34
The Lady Volunteers jumped out to a lopsided lead at the half, withstood a strong LAMP rally in the third quarter and went on to defeat the Golden Tigers 52-34 in the MA Tipoff Classic on Tuesday.
The two teams played even for a quarter before Jeff Davis went on a 16-4 run to take a 26-10 lead into the locker room. Serenity Griffin had eight of her nine points in the third quarter as the Tigers cut into the lead before Jeff Davis used its height inside to take care of the Tigers.
Kayla Hall led Jeff Davis with 14 points, followed by Jamirica Roberson with 10 and Carmen Williams and Ke’ajia Williams with nine points each.
Caitlin Russell led LAMP with 10 points.
LAMP 74, Marbury 72
The Golden Tigers trailed by eight points with two and a half minutes left before going on a 12-2 run in the MAA Tipoff Classic on Tuesday to avenge a season opening loss to the Bulldogs.
“We’re just trying to learn from some of our mistakes,” LAMP coach Marcus Townsend said. “And we were just trying to work on the press they put on us. But it wasn’t so much what they did, we were really just not doing the things we were supposed to be doing, giving the ball away and not making passes like we should.”
Micah Boone had a 3-pointer and three free throws in the rally after scoring just three points in the first half. He finished with 14. Felix McGhee had another crucial 3-pointer and scored nine of his 19 points in the fourth quarter. Quinn Sloane, who finished with 17 points, had a 3-pointer with a little more than a minute remaining to tie the game. Mitchell Sloane added 12 points.
“I just had to get in the guys’ heads and remind them we were down 17 at the end of the third quarter (in the season opener and came back to take the lead),” Townsend said. “We needed to just go out and play, do the things that we need to do to fight back. When we pressed them, we didn’t necessarily get steals but we got turnovers.”
LAMP (3-3) will play Stanhope Elmore, a 58-39 winner over Loachapoka, in the championship game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. Marbury will play Loachapoka in the third-place game on Wednesday at noon.
In other tournament games, Central-Hayneville edged Prattville 61-60 and Montgomery Academy defeated St. Luke’s Episcopal 73-16. Prattville and St. Luke’s will play in the seventh-place game on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., while Central-Hayneville and Montgomery Academy will play in the fifth-place game on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
LAMP led 34-29 at the half, but Reginald Brown, who finished with a game-high 24 points, hit three 3s in the third quarter to help the Bulldogs grab a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Cedric Calloway added 14 points for the Bulldogs, followed by Zamari Brown with 13.
Montgomery Academy 73, St. Luke’s Episcopal 16
Oliver Bear went 5 for 6 from beyond the 3-point arc to finish with 21 points and help a red-hot Montgomery Academy team cruise to an easy win over St. Luke’s on Tuesday.
Jamal Cooper added 12 points, seven steals and six rebounds for MA (1-1), while James Snead chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds and Britton Kohn had five points and eight assists. The Eagles will play Central-Hayneville for fifth place in the MA Tipoff Classic on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.