Photo by Jessa Pease.
The Lady Bucs run through preseason workouts.
At Hanceville, Hazel Green's Rayven Pearson scored 16 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as the Lady Trojans defeated Hoover's Lady Bucs 45-39 in the Northwest Regional finals of the AHSAA State Basketball tournament.
Pearson made just 6 of 23 shots from the floor and only 4 of 10 free throws, but her dominance on the glass to go with three blocked shots allowed the Trojans to advance to the State Finals next week at Legacy Arena at the BJCC.
Hazel Green was whistled for just six fouls and the Lady Bucs made 2 of 6 free throws.
Jailyn Maddox led Hoover with 16 points, making 2 of 2 from 3-point range and both of her free throws. Kendra Langham had 10 rebounds, but the Lady Bucs were outrebounded 42-27.
Hoover had an early eight-point lead and led by one point at the half. Hazel Green led by one point after three quarters and the game was tied at 37 with 5:01 to play when Hoover's Shannan Watkins knocked in a 3-pointer, and again at 39-all when Maddox converted a steal into a basket with 1:55 to play.
But Pearson was fouled and hit a pair of free throws, then blocked a shot. Lara Tanner made a 3-pointer with 1:01 to play to stretch the Lady Trojans' lead to five. Pearson made a free-throw with 33 seconds left for the final margin as the Lady Bucs managed just five points in the fourth quarter. All three of Pearson's blocks came in the final period.