PIEDMONT — There were no surprises for Pleasant Valley or Glencoe on Monday night. Each team knew what it needed to do and its play reflected that.
What each needed to do was win to keep its season alive and earn a spot in the Class 3A, Area 10 finals.
In the end, Glencoe walked away with a 43-38 victory against the Raiders, getting its third win in three tries against Pleasant Valley. Glencoe will face Piedmont in the area finals. By making the championship game, Glencoe also locked up a spot in a sub-regional berth.
Pleasant Valley’s season came to an end.
“There was no surprises,” Pleasant Valley head coach Brad Hood said. “Everything they did we knew they were going to do and everything we did they knew we were going to do. It was just who could make more plays. They’re defense base line to base line was what did the trick.”
While it was a bitter defeat that came down to the end, Hood said he was proud of the fight his team showed.
“They played as hard as they possibly could,” Hood said. “It was the constant pressure that hurt us. It just melted us and finally took a toll. It just wore us out.”
Pleasant Valley started the game like a team looking for a big win. At the end of the first quarter the Raiders led 12-2.
Hood said his team played its style in the first quarter and kept Glencoe from pressing as much.
In the second quarter, Glencoe began to start getting in a rhythm. The Yellow Jackets ended the second quarter on a 6-0 run and carried that momentum into the second half to take their first lead of the game.
At the end of the third quarter Pleasant Valley trailed 29-27.
In the fourth, McKinley Parris tied the game with a long 3-pointer with 4:15 remaining and then Mikala Simpson gave the Raiders a 38-35 lead with 3:21 left.
Glencoe retook the lead with 1:12 remaining on an Annabeth Giles 3-pointer.
Pleasant Valley had one more chance late but couldn’t convert and had to foul with 5.1 seconds left. Giles went to the line and sealed the win by making both free throws.
The loss ends a memorable run for the five Pleasant Valley seniors. They’ve gone 39-18 in two years. Last year they made it to the semifinals of the Calhoun County tournament, won an area championship and made it to the Northeast Regional.
This year, the Raiders finished 12-15 after Hood toughened up the schedule to get the team ready for the postseason. Of the 27 games they played, 14 came against ranked teams.
“I said it was going to make us or break us,” Hood said. “If you’re going to make a run you’ve got to play those games. It’s not about having a pretty record. We did that last year.”
Glencoe 43, Pleasant Valley 38
Glencoe (15-13): Ashley Morgan 12, Annabeth Giles 11, Breia Little 7, Lauren Cole 6.
Pleasant Valley (12-15): MiKala Simpson 11, Atleigh Brannon 9, McKinley Parris 9, Lindsey Pritchett 5.