Lady Tribe’s surge too late; loses area to THSPublished 10:06am Wednesday, February 12, 2014
After trailing by as many as 13 points, the Wetumpka Lady Indians (18-4) fell short in its comeback attempt and lost to Thompson 41-34 for the Class 6A Area 7 tournament championship Saturday night.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net for much of the night. In the first half, Wetumpka shot 13 percent from the field (2-for-15) that allowed the Lady Warriors to build a 21-8 halftime advantage.
“Watching film, we knew it was going to be a tough ballgame and we knew we were going to need to make some shots,” Lady Indian head coach Ed Rogers said. “Defensively, we played them a whole lot better than we did the first two times we played them. But we couldn’t get anything started.”
But Wetumpka didn’t lay down. WHS cut into Thompson’s lead, using a 13-4 run for the last 4:27 of the third quarter to close the gap to 27-23.
The Lady Indians followed eighth-grader Zipporah Broughton, who scored seven of her 10 points in the fourth. At the 6:21 mark, Broughton nailed a three-pointed from the corner to force the game’s first tie since the start at 28-28. The next trip down, the guard made two free throws to give Wetumpka its first and only lead of the contest at 30-28.
“I’ve been texting her all week, letting her know that she is one of the key pieces to the puzzle,” Rogers said of Broughton. “Because she’s eighth-grade, don’t too many people know about her. She’s the x-factor. Everybody knows what Adrianne (Armstrong’s) going to do, everybody knows what Alaysha (Clark) and Courtney (Richardson’s) going to do from last year and the previous years. Zippy is coming into her own for the next four years. To be in the eighth-grade, she’s a big part of our program.”
But down the stretch, Rogers said, the Lady Indians didn’t execute, as Thompson outscored them 13-4 the final 6:04.
“It was a little frustrating, but at the same time, they knew we just needed to make one,” Rogers said. “You make one, the defense picks up and now guess what, now we’re in the ballgame. It was 30-30 and we couldn’t get that lead.
“A little disappointed we didn’t meet one of our goals, but it’s not the last thing we set out to do. We still can make our ultimate goal. Hopefully, we’ll see them again in the region and it’ll be a different outcome, I promise you. Hats off to Thompson, great team, great program, always has been, but we’ve got to focus on Spain Park come Thursday night.”
While his team dropped just its third game in 17 outings, Rogers said the Lady Indians still present a tough challenge for the rest of the playoff field.
“We just got to execute. There were some plays down the stretch that we drew up didn’t go exactly like we wanted it to. We make a couple of shots, we’re going to be tough to beat. We’re that darkhorse that nobody wants to play right now and I truly feel that way.”
Wetumpka travels to Spain Park Thursday for its sub-regional game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. You can follow along with live updates on The Wetumpka Herald’s Facebook page.