HANCEVILLE — R.A. Hubbard found the net early and knocked Falkville out of the Class 1A Northwest Regionals girls semi-finals Wednesday afternoon, 61-51.
The Chiefs’ 11-5 scoring run in the first quarter had Falkville trailing from the start. In the second quarter, R.A. Hubbard kept it up, as star guard Alex Gholston put the ball in the basket four more times. Gholston suffered a bloody nose, leaving the game until the 3:27 mark, but R.A. Hubbard remained ahead with a 29-18 lead at the half.
Gholston had a game-high 27 points and five off the glass, but fell into foul trouble in the second half. Against Hubbard’s smaller reserves, Falkville (20-5) rallied late to come within 10 points by the final buzzer.
The Chiefs also relied on Ashlen McCoy to keep the pace rolling. The 4-foot-9 junior guard put up 10 points to keep R.A. Hubbard ahead. Small and soft-spoken, McCoy said she is used to stepping in when needed.
“It changes the way that we attack, but we have a lot of confidence in our other players, and Alex has a lot of confidence in her teammates,” said R.A. Hubbard coach Nick Vinson of playing without Gholston. “We feel like we were able to score, and the production was still there, we just had to work the ball inside a little more.”
McCoy was the only other Chiefs player in double digits.
In their first regional appearance in school history, Falkville was led by Autumn Eddy and Sydney Moore. Eddy recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Moore scored 13 points. Bailey Anders and Emily Mickelson added eight points each. Moore left the game in the fourth quarter with a rolled ankle.
“It has been one of the most amazing experiences you can imagine,” said Moore after the game.
The Blue Devils beat R.A. Hubbard off the glass, with 49 rebounds, while both teams had 18 turnovers. The Chiefs ended the game on a dismal run of free throws, shooting 15-for-38 for the game. Vinson said he hopes to adjust the foul shooting in the Class 1A finals game.
“If we make 20 more of those, it’s not even a close game,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job, and I’ll take full responsibility for that, but we’ve got to shoot better free throws.”
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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