By Erik Harris
North Jefferson News
On a night when the Gardendale girls basketball team managed to shoot a scorching 75 percent from beyond the three-point arc while dropping to a head-scratching 33 percent from the free throw line, the Rockets defeated Minor 51-40 to finish the Jefferson County Girls Basketball Tournament large-school division in fifth place.
“To come out here and get three wins in-a-row is a great ending to a tough start of the week,” said Gardendale coach Amy Barnett.
Gardendale beat Hueytown 59-31 on Thursday night to advance to Friday night’s consolation finals against the Tigers at Shades Valley.
The Rockets were fueled by offensive spurts that made a second half comeback virtually impossible for Minor.
One of Gardendale’s offensive explosions came at the end of the second quarter. With the two teams fighting through a tightly-contested first half, the Rockets decided to feed three hungry seniors.
Forward Chelsey Deloney led the charge with four points while Taylor Dailey and Chelsea Robinson chipped in with two apiece, as Gardendale went 4-for-4 from the field in the final moments of the half. The late push resulted in a six-point advantage for the Rockets.
With three Gardendale starters reaching double digits in scoring, the Rockets had no problem extending their halftime lead.
“Everyone fed off one another and everyone on the floor was scoring,” said Barnett.
Deloney recorded a double-double with 15 points and ten boards. Dailey went 2-for-2 from deep on her way to a ten point night and junior guard Mallorie Corbin was also without blemish from beyond the three-point line, as she connected on all three of her attempts while finishing with 15 points.
Gardendale’s moody offense was followed by aggressive defense that held the Tigers to only 21 points through three quarters of play. Senior Chelsea Robinson set the tone defensively with her five blocked shots.