Winterboro advances

Zaryea Springer drives past Victory Christian’s Sallie Cheatwood on Monday night in the Class 1A, Area 7 tournament.

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home/File

HOWELL’S COVE -- Winterboro High School’s girls basketball team routed Victory Christian 49-14 to open the Class 1A, Area 7 tournament at Talladega County Central High School on Monday night.

The Lady Bulldogs built a sizable chunk of their 36-10 halftime lead from the charity stripe after the Lady Lions committed 17 fouls during one stretch. Winterboro went 17-of-31 from the free-throw line on 15 first-half trips.

“We have a lot of girls that play and we just really try to stress that everybody play hard when they get out there,” Winterboro head coach Sheroderick Smith. “I feel like (of) the last three games we’ve played, this was not the best game … but we’ll take the win and move on to the area championship game.”

Winterboro’s defense held Victory Christian to four points in the second half. A pair of Lady Lions, Margaret Frey and Kristina Glass, fouled out in the third quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs went into the final stanza ahead 44-14.

Senior Aleise Walton led Winterboro with eight points, while freshman Jada Lawler chipped in eight.

“(Aleise) hit some shots,” Smith said. “We need for her to hit the 3-ball shots if we’re going to be competitive. Jada’s having a phenomenal year for us. Even though she was out six or seven games for us, she came back in and she does a lot of good things for us.”

Shelby Dupree scored a team-leading eight points for the Lady Lions.

The Lady Bulldogs will meet the Lady Fighting Tigers in the area championship game Wednesday at 6 p.m. TC Central advanced by defeating Alabama School for the Deaf 64-8.

“This will be our third time playing them this year,” Smith said. “They’ve been owning us all year (the Lady Bulldogs fell to the Lady Fighting Tigers 69-41 on Dec. 16 and 62-34 on Jan. 12). We just want to make it competitive on Wednesday.

“I really want to congratulate and applaud our girls for keeping the program going along with the playoff streak of eight straight years now.

“The only thing you can do with a team like this is answer opportunities to play in these area championship games and play for the opportunity to advance in the postseason. One day, you want the opportunity to play for regional championships, area championships and Class 1A state championships. These are the things that you want. All we can do is just really be thankful for the opportunity to play for another area championship.”