Oakman girls stun Carbon Hill

Wildcats ride hot streak to area tournament title

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 2/10/17

CARBON HILL — Only four players scored points for Oakman on Friday night — three would’ve been plenty.

Oakman went into Carbon Hill as an underdog, but came away with a lopsided 57-38 …

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Oakman girls stun Carbon Hill

Wildcats ride hot streak to area tournament title

Posted

CARBON HILL — Only four players scored points for Oakman on Friday night — three would’ve been plenty.

Oakman went into Carbon Hill as an underdog, but came away with a lopsided 57-38 victory to claim the Class 3A, Area 12 title, in a game the Wildcats dominated from start to finish.

“This is a huge jump for our program. The girls have put in a lot of hard work this year, especially the last two weeks,” Oakman coach MaKenzie Burgett said. “They’ve really come together as a team. We’ve really turned things around.”

Oakman will host a sub-region game against J.B. Pennington (22-8) on Monday at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Northwest Regional Tournament in Hanceville.

With the loss, Carbon Hill, which saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end, will travel to No. 2 Locust Fork (30-1) for a sub-region game set for 6 p.m. on Monday.

On Friday, Oakman (19-9) took control in the second quarter behind the scoring of Malori Crowell, Iyana Canada, Heather Thompson and Chante Williams. The Wildcats made seven 3-pointers on the night, including four by Crowell.

While Oakman was bombing away, Carbon Hill struggled in all phases of the game, consistently making turnovers that resulted in transition points for the Wildcats. The Bulldogs, who had won the three previous games against Oakman by an average of 14 points, didn’t get closer than eight points in the second half and trailed by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats led 9-8 after the opening quarter, but Carbon Hill grabbed a 10-9 lead following a basket by Heather Carmichael.

That’s when Oakman went to work. Williams nailed a 3-pointer to start a 17-3 run. Williams also made a putback with Thompson and Canada adding baskets. Crowell completed a four-point play later in the quarter and the Oakman lead balloned to 13 points at 26-13. Carbon Hill (25-5) cut the gap to eight points, 27-19, at the half thanks to baskets from Molly Kate Atkins and Makindle McGough.

Crowell helped Oakman add to its lead in the third quarter, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers, the last put Oakman ahead 38-25 with 2:15 left in the quarter. Williams scored the final six points of the quarter for the Wildcats, who led 44-33 after three quarters.

Carbon Hill had just one basket and five total points in the final quarter. Oakman put together a 9-0 run late in the game to take a 22-point lead at 57-35 following a pair of free throws from Canada.

Both Crowell and Canada led Oakman with 15 points while Thompson had 14 and Williams added 13.

For Carbon Hill, Molly Kate Atkins had 11 points while Lacey Evans added six points.

Oakman is in the sub-region round of the playoffs for the second straight year under Burgett, who led the Wildcats to the playoffs for the first time since 2009 last year. This season also marks the first time since 2008 that Oakman has won double-digit games.

"This is second year in a row that we’ve been breaking records. I couldn't be more excited," Burgett said.