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WL drops wild one in finals

By Staff
ON THE MOVE
West Lauderdale's J. J. Huggins drives the lane for a lay up against Heidelberg's Princess Bender, left and Jessica Yates.
PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 16, 2002
HEIDELBERG The Salt Lake Winter Olympics had its stunning figure skating controversy. For West Lauderdale fans, there will be the great Heidelberg fiasco.
The West Lauderdale Lady Knights saw a seven-point lead evaporate in the final 1:21 in part because of two stunning technical fouls called on Lady Knight players.
Heidelberg took advantage, scoring the game's final 10 points including the last four on free throws in the last 11.2 seconds to beat West Lauderdale 53-50 in Friday night's Division 5-3A Girls Championship game.
The Heidelberg boys made it a clean sweep of divisional titles by romping to the boys crown with an 88-52 rout of the Knights.
Heidelberg girls 53
West Lauderdale 50
West Lauderdale head coach Jody Hurst was pretty blunt about what he thought of the technical foul calls. The loss sends West Lauderdale on the road Monday night for the first round of the 3A playoffs.
The Lady Knights were up 50-43 with 1:40 left after J.J. Huggins had hit a pair of free throws. Following a Heidelberg missed shot, Huggins was called for a charge. She was then hit with a technical foul. After the game the referee told Hurst it was because she flipped the ball over her shoulder after the call, and didn't hand it correctly to him. The technical was Huggins' fifth foul, sending her to the bench.
Catina Fowler made both free throws to make it a five-point game. Off the inbound, Shawana Stevens stuck a 12-foot shot from the free throw line to cut the Lady Knight lead to 50-47 with 1:10 left.
A miss on the West Lauderdale end gave the Lady Oilers more momentum. Jessica Yates took the drive got a great back-spin on her lay-up to cut the Lady Knight lead to one at 50-49 with 25 seconds to go.
At mid-court, Kristina Gardner was caught in a trap and was then called for a walking violation with 11.2 seconds left. Instead of Heidelberg getting the ball on the side, West was assessed another technical, which was credited to another player other than Gardner for not handing the ref the ball.
Fowler went to the line and made both free throws putting Heidelberg into the lead at 51-50. On the inbounds, West had to foul. Latoya Walker made both of her shots to hand the Lady Oilers a 53-50 lead.
The Lady Knights got the ball to their half of the court but were unable to get a shot at overtime.
Heidelberg head coach Nedra Hosey-Jones thanked her home crowd and the free throw efforts of her team for the win. The Lady Oilers improve to 21-14 and will host a first-round game on Monday night.
The Lady Oilers were effective from the line in the second half making 11-of-13 free throws. They were 18-of-23 for the game.
Fowler was 11-of-14 from line and had 13 points. Yates ended with 14 while Princess Bender had 10.
West, who falls to 29-4, got 15 points from J.J. Huggins and 10 from Shannon Lloyd. Gardner had nine.
The Lady Knights led 11-2 after one quarter. Heidelberg answered with a 13-4 run to close to within 17-15. The Lady Knights bounced back with a 12-2 spurt to go up 29-17.
In the third quarter, Lloyd scored four baskets off fast breaks to keep West Lauderdale in the lead. It was 42-33 at the end of three.
Heidelberg boys 88
West Lauderdale 52
Derrick Turner posted up the West Lauderdale Knights for a game-high 26 points as the Oilers broke loose in the second quarter and never looked back.
Heidelberg, now 26-6, will be at home against the runner-up from Division 6-3A on Tuesday night. West Lauderdale, 24-11, will head to the Division 6-3A winner also on Tuesday.
The second quarter saw the Oilers ease out to a 10-point lead before settling for a 29-21 half-time lead.
In the third quarter, Heidelberg opened with a 12-0 run to settle matters. Two three-pointers by Cedric Pierce along with 12 points from Turner turned the game into a 61-34 rout.
Wright ended with 14 points and Marvin McDonald had 11. Jesse Jones, Pierce and Joe Agee all had eight.
Calvin Moore led the Knights with 20.

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