North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 12, 2013

Girls 5A area basketball championship: No. 2 Center Point 56, Pinson Valley 30

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

CENTER POINT — On paper, Pinson Valley’s girls basketball team was supposed to fold up like a pup tent, and let second-ranked Center Point roll on through to the Class 5A Area 11 championship on its home court.

Apparently, the Indians didn’t get the memo.

They not only stayed with the Eagles, they actually held a three-point lead at halftime. And it was fun — while it lasted.

And it lasted until the 3:34 mark of the third period, as Center Point went on a 21-0 run over nine minutes, on their way to a 56-30 victory in the title game Monday night.

The Eagles really got going when Keonna Farmer got on quite a roll. She scored five unanswered baskets in the last two minutes of the third quarter, which put Pinson away for good.

“She’s an explosive player,” Center Point coach Ulysses Haynes said. “Once she gets going, we like to keep going to her.”

Pinson coach David Kennamer and his assistants had planned for such a game, and the plan worked — at least for about 20 minutes.

“Coach [Kristan] Cromer and Coach [Zaneta] Howard came up with a really good defensive plan, and it was working,” Kennamer said. “Then we kind of got a little bit winded, and suddenly we were down.”

Eventually, the Eagles’ deep roster just wore down the Indians.

“More depth, more size, and more D-1 prospects — three of them,” Kennamer said.

And it was those Division I prospects who took command in the second half. Farmer, named tournament MVP, led all scorers with 20 points; she is headed for Auburn. Gabby Holston added 13 plus 10 rebounds; the 6-foot-1 forward will play at Georgia Tech. And guard Dominique Patrick, bound for Grambling, scored nine and had seven steals.

“We played terrible defense in the first half. It was awful,” Haynes said. “We were too hyped up in the beginning. We had to settle down and play our defense, because that’s what we do. We went to a straight man-to-man and put pressure on the ball.”

Alex Lowery was hot for Pinson from outside the 3-point arc, hitting three treys on her way to a 14-point night.

The Indians will travel to Ramsay for their sub-regional game on Thursday night, while the Eagles host Homewood.