JACKSONVILLE — No. 7 Gadsden City appeared to be on its way to an easy win in the Northeast Regional semifinals on Thursday at Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The Titans (26-5) led by 16 points with 6:33 remaining, but Oak Mountain had one last run in them.
The Eagles (10-18) scored the next 10 points and suddenly trailed 41-35 with 2:40 remaining.
Gadsden City runs an up-tempo offense that shoots a lot of 3-pointers. Slowing down isn’t something they do often.
“Really we just needed to play smart,” Gadsden City coach Jeremy Brooks said. “It’s hard to get your team to go fast and get after it, then toward the end of the game know when to let off the gas at certain times to slow it down, take the air out of the ball and defend runs like that. It’s that gray area.”
The Titans finally broke their scoring drought after a steal and layup in transition by Camille Jenkins with 1:57 remaining to extend their lead to 43-35.
Gadsden City was able to hold on for a 47-38 victory to advance to the regional championship.
The Titans will play No. 1 Hoover at 9 a.m. Tuesday at JSU.
Gadsden City led 8-6 after the first quarter, 22-14 at halftime and 36-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
Star of the Night
Jenkins scored 14 points in her first regional game. She was 5-of-12 from the field and 2-for-5 from three.
“This is my first time being here. I don’t think I was nervous, but more anxious. The crowd was loud. I did have some nerves, but I settled down after the first quarter.” — Jenkins
By the Numbers
31:46 — Amount of time Gadsden City held a lead against Oak Mountain. The Titans never trailed. … 16 — The Titans largest lead was 16 points. … 12 — Gadsden City outscored Oak Mountain 12-0 in fast-break points. … 6 — The Titans built their large lead towards the end of the third quarter off back-to-back 3-pointers by Somara Butcher. Gadsden City led 34-22 after her two made threes.
They Said It
“We usually have a good crowd at our games. So I think our student section and cheerleaders carried the momentum into the game.” — Gadsden City point guard Adrianna Jones
“I’m just happy for them. I’ve been in this thing a long time. I’ve been fortunate enough to be here a good while and hopefully I’ll have a chance to keep on coaching so I’m going to have more opportunities. But when you’re a player, you only have that small window to make it. I think the first 11 years of the school we made it nine times. So we were used to coming. Then the last two years we haven’t made it and that’s been the longest drought we’ve had. I didn’t want a class to leave that didn’t get to experience this environment. I know I’m a little biased because we are always down here, but to me this is the best regional that there is.” — Brooks
Gadsden City Stat Sheet
Jones scored nine points along with four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Tameah Gaddis added seven points and 14 rebounds. The Titans shot 17-of-53 (32.1%) from the floor and 7-of-23 (30.4%) from 3-point.
Article and video courtesy of The Gadsden Times: https://www.gadsdentimes.com/sports/20200213/no-7-gadsden-city-advances-to-northeast-regional-finals