Photo by Jessa Pease.
Hoover Lady Bucs
The Hoover Lady Bucs work in drills during a preseason practice. Photo by Jessa Pease.
Last season, the Hoover Lady Buccaneers had the humbling experience of watching two other teams play for the championship of their tournament.
They were determined not to let that happen at this year’s Big Orange Classic.
“Our girls were very prideful in the fact that we were hosting and protecting our floor,” said coach Tiffany Frederick. “Not to mention we watched Oneonta and Opelika play in the championship last year. The fact that we did not win last year or even make it to the championship was a big motivator for the girls to win our tournament and make a statement at the beginning of the year.”
The Lady Bucs won the Big Orange Classic, beating Sparkman 62-46. Jailyn Maddox led the way with 24 points and Jada Smith knocked in 14. Kendra Langham was also in double figures with 10 points.
Aaliyah Bell had eight assists, Smith had four assists and Maddox chipped in three assists as the Lady Bucs shared the ball well.
Kendrea Dawkins was the leading scorer for the Senators with 17 points.
In the semifinals, Hoover beat Robert E. Lee of Montgomery 63-27. The Lady Bucs jumped out to a 19-4 lead after a quarter and led 31-10 the half. After a letdown in the third quarter, Hoover put the game away with a 15-1 fourth quarter.
Langham led the way in this one with 19 points and five rebounds while Maddox added eight points and two assists.
Tykeria Williams was the only Lee player in double figures with 10 points.
In the opener of the tournament, Hoover stormed out to a 24-8 first-quarter lead and led 42-21 at the half, but the Lady Bucs got a little sloppy and allowed the Lady Bucks of Buckhorn to close the gap in the second half before Hoover emerged with a 65-51 win.
Smith was high scorer with 16 points and added three assists. Maddox had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Velencia Johnson chipped in 11 points.
Morgan Tipton led Buckhorn with 16 points.
“(We) played well on the defensive end,” Frederick said. “Our up-tempo transition really wore teams down like we intended. We did not rebound the ball as well as we hoped the first game. Those last two games, we did a much better job capitalizing on assignments and rebounding the basketball.
“Our guards shot the ball well the entire weekend. We have plenty of work to do but overall I was pleased to one, win our tournament and start our season in the right direction, and two, see our girls compete and give 100 percent effort.”