High school basketball teaser
Kirsten Fiscus/The Anniston Star

WELLBORN — Weaver’s Caleigh Cortez and Rayne Beck have played varsity basketball together for 2,000 points and change. An impressive showing Wednesday means they’ll play together at least two more games.

Beck scored 16 points and Cortez 12, and the Bearcats eliminated Ohatchee 63-36 in the first round of the Class 3A, Area 9 tournament.

Weaver (15-15) will play host Wellborn on Friday at 6 p.m. Both teams will advance to a sub-regional, with the winner playing at home.

“We’re basically playing to not have to go to Pisgah,” Weaver coach Gary Atchley said.

After Wednesday’s game, Atchley took the occasion to recognize Cortez for passing the 1,000-point mark. The junior joined Beck, a senior, in the club in a 51-38 victory at Ohatchee on Jan. 23

Cortez accepted a ball from Atchley, and she and Beck posed together for pictures.

“She’s like my second half. She’s like my sister,” Beck said. “I wouldn’t want to play a game without her. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s always there. She just knows.”

Cortez had her eye on the 1,000-mark.

“It’s a great feeling,” she said. “I’ve been trying to go for this for a long time.”

Cortez and Beck had to carry more of the load this season, after teammate Mariah Thompson suffered a season-ending knee injury in early December.

“It seems like they’ve been there forever,” Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn said. “I’m sure they’ve said that about some of ours, too, but it’s tough when you’ve got to deal with two or three people who can drive the goal.”

Weaver also got 11 points from Emily Reed and nine from Abby Gaines on Wednesday.

The Bearcats led 11-9 after the first quarter but separated in the second, taking a 32-14 lead into halftime. They outscored Ohatchee 24-4 in the third.

Ohatchee’s Tori Vice scored a game-high 27 points, but the Indians finished 7-21 with one senior, Kourtney Shuler, and a roster that’s half seventh- and eighth-graders.

“They fight so hard and play so hard,” Ginn said. “They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. We played a tough schedule and a tough area. Life ain’t always about wins and losses.

“It’s about playing hard, doing the right things and being a competitor, and I think all of them are that.”

Class 2A, Area 10 girls: Ranburne 47, Vincent 10: The Bulldogs led 14-3 after one quarter and 30-5 at halftime before cruising to an area tournament title.

Ranburne (20-7) will host the loser of tonight’s game between Fyffe and Section on Monday in a sub-regional game.

Ranburne’s top performers:

—Jesse Ralston, 16 points, five rebounds, three assists

—Jasey Langley, 10 points

—Julianna Merrill, six points, four steals, three assists

—Kayli Olds, five points, five rebounds

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.