From Staff Reports
MOUNTAIN BROOK — In a girls basketball season that’s seen its ups and downs, Gardendale saved its biggest “up” for when it counted the most.
The Rockets, who were winless against opponents in Class 6A Area 12, pulled off a shocking upset over ninth-ranked Mountain Brook, winning 52-43 in the area tournament semifinal on the Spartans’ home floor.
“I don’t think the girls have come down [from Cloud Nine] yet,” coach Ryan Griffin said. “It took me until halfway through the next game.”
The Rockets (14-15) got off to a quick start, then were able to stay even Mountain Brook for most of the game. Gardendale’s lead was as high as 16 points.
“We got off to a pretty good start, and made shots and free throws at really big points,” Griffin said. “We were able to make our shots from the floor and our free throws. Any time they’d hit, we hit a shot to match. Except for a little stretch in the second half, we answered them for the most part. We also defended really well, especially in the first half.”
The Rockets held the Spartans (21-5) scoreless in the first five minutes of the second half, and held a 10-point lead after three periods.
The Spartans also fell victim to a rash of turnovers and poor shooting, Griffin said.
Taylor Powell led Gardendale with 18 points, including four from 3-point range. Kaitlyn Plan had 11 points plus seven assists. Bekah Myers pulled down 12 rebounds.
Mountain Brook was paced by Zan Morgan with 16 points. Lane Tucker added 14.
The Rockets also added a win to their record and deducted a loss Thursday when the AHSAA declared all of Parker’s wins for the season to be forfeited because of ineligible players. That decision turned a 53-44 loss to the Thundering Herd in the Pelham Thanksgiving Shootout to a 2-0 victory.
Gardendale: Taylor Powell 18, Kaitlyn Plan 11, Kasey Jones 7, Elizabeth Schultz 5, Bekah Myers 5, Haley Hardman 4, Taylor Lindsey 2. Mountain Brook: Zan Morgan 16, Lane Turner 14, Tessa Harmon 7, Laura Barnett 4, Olivia Stevens 2. Rebounds: Myers 12 (G’dale).