Showing the ability to rally in the second half, the Cleburne County girls picked up wins in each of their three most recent games. At home on Friday of last week, the Tigers defeated Alexandria 45-41 after trailing 21-14 at the half. At Weaver Monday, Cleburne County defeated Weaver 40-11. Tuesday’s game against Haralson County (Ga.) was played in Heflin and the Tigers won 45-43, rallying from a 21-17 halftime deficit. Cleburne County improved to 4-1.
A change in defenses sparked the rally against Haralson County. Coach Todd Gable said the Tigers went to a full-court man press and half-court man late in the first half and stayed with that scheme the entire second half.
“Everybody was playing real good defense, moving their feet. To me, that was the difference in the game,” Gable said. “It just seemed like we were in a little bit better shape than they were. We just pressured them into a lot of turnovers.”
Junior guard Alisa Norton led Cleburne County with 13 points and added four rebounds and two assists. Kiara Akles contributed 11 points and eight boards. Shawntavia Boyd recorded eight points, two rebounds and two assists. Erykah Ware had five points and two assists. Kaity Zeiders finished with four points and two rebounds. Madison Jones and Lauren Brown each had two points. Jones nabbed three rebounds.
“As the game went on, I felt we could wear them down and we did,” Gable concluded.
No rally was needed in securing the win over Weaver. Cleburne County led 11-0 after one quarter and 27-3 at halftime. Akles scored all eight of her points in the first quarter blitz. Gable said the best thing about the game was everybody got to play.
Ware scored nine points to pace the Tigers. She also had four rebounds and three steals. In addition to her eight points, Akles had four rebounds and two steals. Norton finished with seven points, four assists and three steals. Boyd had seven points, six rebounds and two steals. Zeiders was 5-for-5 at the foul stripe and scored seven points. She added three steals and two rebounds. Grace Conkle had two points, four rebounds and two steals.
At Heflin Friday, Norton scored 16 of her game-high 18 points in the second half to lead the Tigers’ comeback. Norton also had seven rebounds and four assists. She played the entire second half with four fouls.
Akles contributed 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Zeiders had 10 rebounds and five points. Boyd added seven points and four rebounds. Ware had three points and six rebounds. Jones scored two points and had three rebounds.
Cleburne County hosts Clay Central Thursday and White Plains Saturday afternoon. Gable said Wednesday’s practice would involve a shoot-around and a review of Clay Central’s schemes from last year. Friday will be another shoot-around day followed by a review of the initial White Plains game this season.