By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
IRONDALE — We've written variations on this before: Pleasant Grove only dresses out seven girls on its girls basketball team, but that's often all they need.
That was the case in the first round of the Jefferson County Girls Basketball Tournament large-school division, as the Spartans took down Gardendale 59-57 Tuesday at Shades Valley.
The Rockets almost pulled even with Pleasant Grove at the end, but simply ran out of time.
"We were down by seven with a minute and a half left, and cut it down to two," Gardendale coach Amy Barnett said. "If we would've had another 30 seconds, we would have won it."
The Rockets took advantage of opportunities down the stretch, hitting 11-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Chelsey Deloney led the Rockets with 21 points and eight rebounds. Chelsea Robinson had 11 points and 15 rebounds, Mallorie Corbin scored 14 - 10 of them in the final period - and Caroline Casaday handed out eight assists.
Ciera Smith led all scorers with 23 points for the Spartans. Aaliyah Myers added 22 points and Chelsie Taylor had 10.
The Rockets drop to the consolation bracket, and play the loser of the Minor-Pinson Valley game Wednesday at 4:30.