With the win, the third seed Lady Aggies advance to take on second seed Munford in the semifinals on Thursday at 6 p.m.
“I am extremely proud of my kids—the way we came out in the second half defensively,” Sylacauga head coach Derrick Crawford said. “I challenged them at halftime about defense. The other night we played lights out in the first quarter. We were awful Saturday in the second half. We allowed 19 points in the fourth quarter. We wanted to make sure we weren’t going to do that again. Childersburg has a good basketball team, they are battled tested and it will pay off. Coach Johnson does a great job with those girls. Looking at the schedule they played and the teams that they played, lost to ranked teams. Those kids keep believing and keep working, they can do well. For our kids we are going to roll ourselves up and go back tomorrow with our focus on Munford.”
The Lady Aggies got off to a fast start in the first quarter. Sylacauga jumped off to a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. Shakayla Thomas score 12 points during the run. Tierra Dark hit a layup to make it 4-0. Thomas scored 10 straight points including a layup to make it 14-0.
Childersburg’s Cierra Swain hit a free throw to cut the lead to 14-1.
Thomas, a finalist for the McDonald’s All American game, hit a layup off the assist of Tierra Dark to increase their lead 16-1. Sylacauga took an 18-3 lead into the second quarter.
Thomas opened the second quarter with a three point play to increase Sylacauga’s lead to 21-3 lead.
Tia Wells and Tariah Reynolds hit 3-pointers to cut Sylacauga’s lead to 25-10.
Kayla Dark hit a jumper to increase the Lady Aggies lead to 29-10. Destiny Wilson hit a layup to make it 31-12. Reynolds hit her second 3 –pointer of the game to cut the deficit to 31-15.
Thomas scored 11 of her 25 first half points in the second quarter. Her layup with 46 seconds left gave the Lady Aggies a 37-17 lead.
Sylacauga took a 38-17 lead into halftime.
The Lady Aggies turned their intensity on the defensive end of the court in the third quarter as they only allowed the Childersburg to score four points and a total of seven points in the second half.
“We stayed in halftime a little longer than normal,” Crawford said. “We challenged them to play defense. In the second half we played great defense. We know if we are going to do anything we are going to have to play good defense. We held them to seven points. The kids responded the way we want them to respond on defense.”
The Lady Tigers only field goal in the second half was a 3-pointer by Reynolds to cut the Lady Aggies lead to a 46-20 with 5:51 left in the third quarter.
Tierra Dark’s three point play increased Sylacauga’s lead to 49-20. She also converted on an untraditional three point play. Kayla Dark hit a free throw, but missed the second attempt which was put back in by Tierra Dark to make it 52-20. Thomas scored 11 points of her game high 36 points in the quarter for Sylacauga. She hit another turnaround jumper to make it 59-21. Her layup late in the quarter gave them a 61-21 lead going to the fourth quarter.
Thomas and Tierra Dark recorded double-doubles for the Lady Aggies. Thomas had 10 boards to go along with her 36 points. Tierra Dark scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Kayla Dark scored 11 points for Sylacauga.
Childersburg head coach Johnny Johnson wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance on Tuesday.
“We weren’t ready to play,” he said. “We didn’t play defense the way we needed to play defense, we didn’t get down the floor, and we didn’t handle the pressure. When you play Sylacauga you have to be able to handle the pressure and play defense and we didn’t do it. They got some quick transition baskets; we didn’t get back on defense. We just didn’t play good tonight.”