Lady Flashes rally in fourth to beat Stringer|[12/22/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 22, 2007

Two years ago, a meeting between the St. Aloysius and Stringer girls would’ve produced a meeting of Class 1A powers. Stringer, a 30-win club, went on to claim the 2006 state championship behind South Carolina signee Jazmine Payne. That same year, St. Al won a school record 26 games before getting bounced out in the first round.

Friday night at St. Al, it was two teams in major rebuilding mode. At least for the Lady Flashes, they get to go into the Christmas break on a high note after rallying from an 11-point second half deficit to upend Stringer 38-33.

It was only the second win of the season for the St. Al girls and new coach Carolyn Bradley, but it was still sweet.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“It feels good to finally win one at home,” Bradley said. “We had some girls really step up.”

The Lady Flashes (2-9, 2-4 Division 6-1A) were playing their third game without leading scorer Elizabeth Mazzanti, who had an appendectomy. And despite only 13 first half points and 30 turnovers for the game, they found enough offense late to pull out the win.

Tori Hines and Sara Howington keyed the St. Al comeback. Hines scored a team-high 13 points while Howington grabbed nearly every loose ball in sight, finishing with 15 rebounds to go with 10 points.

“Coach (Bradley) really helped getting us pumped up in the second half. We played really hard. We’ve practiced hard and I think that’s how I got the rebounds, by working hard. They (Stringer) had some big girls,” Howington said.

For the first half, there was little to be cheerful about. The Lady Flashes made just 4 of 16 shots, had 15 turnovers and trailed 21-13 at the half.

With three minutes to go in the third quarter, they were down 11 at 29-18. Then Aden Rials lit a spark, hitting a 3-pointer to make it 29-23. She then grabbed a defensive rebound and found Hines open for a basket to make it 29-25 as the quarter ended, to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

St. Al was the more energetic team in the fourth quarter. Stringer went into an offensive funk, missing 10 straight shots. The Lady Flashes, meanwhile, controlled the boards, grabbing 15 rebounds in the final quarter.

Stringer’s Josie Kelly ended a near eight minute drought with 3:03 left. Howington answered on a give-and-go drive to put St. Al ahead for the first time since a 4-1 lead in the first quarter, at 32-31 with 1:59 left.

Naquan Oliver scored Stringer’s final basket with 1:17 left to tie the game at 33. St. Al’s Johnna Coccaro untied it when she tossed in an 8-foot turnaround with 1:02 left to make it 35-33, and St. Al scored the final five points to seal it.

(B) Stringer 51, St. Al 48

Douglas Arlidge’s 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left spoiled a great comeback by the Flashes.

The Flashes (3-9, 2-4) trailed by 13 at 40-27 early in the fourth quarter, but stormed back to take a 49-48 lead with 19 seconds left on a 5-foot runner by Alex Lanier. Stringer (6-4, 2-0), which had missed five straight shots in the final minute, got Arlidge’s shot to drop for the game-winner.

Marcus Bolton led Stringer with 14 points. Luke Burnett scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for St. Al.