Oakman Lady Wildcats glide to county title repeat

CORDOVA — The Oakman Lady Wildcats were dominant from start to finish in the Walker County Tournament title game, beating the Curry Yellow Jackets, 48-26 to repeat as champions. Tournament MVP Iyana Canada led the Wildcats with 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals, while fellow All-Tournament members Chante Williams had 12 points and eight rebounds and Katelyn Ramsey had six points and eight rebounds. Curry All-Tournament member Abbey Moon recorded a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Katie Downs scored eight points. Morgan Davidson was also named to the All-Tournament team for the Yellow Jackets. Oakman head coach Mark Hastings, who won his first county title after taking the helm this year, said his players’ experience in playing for and winning the title last season helped make preparation easier. “There was a loss of some of the strong seniors from last year coming into this year, but we had a great deal of experience coming back, which we knew would be a great asset. Some of the girls who didn’t play last year have stepped up and been terrific,” Hastings said. “Our girls play well as a team and I think their biggest strength is that they hate to lose.”

With five players collecting more than five rebounds, Hastings felt that Oakman’s board work was a key to the team’s victory. “Our work in rebounding has helped us all season, but especially tonight. At the beginning of the year, we had a few rebounds we were collecting, now we have the entire team making the great effort to go after the ball,” Hastings said. “It’s gradually becoming a great advantage for us.” Oakman controlled the tempo of the game from the start on offense and defense scoring eight unanswered points quickly. The teams traded baskets until Curry hit a two-point shot with two minutes remaining in the first period to cut the lead to 12-6. The Yellow Jackets wouldn’t score another basket until 29 seconds remaining in the first half, while the Wildcats reeled-off 23 points. At the halftime break, Oakman held a commanding 35-8 lead. Curry held the scoring edge in the third period, 12-8, but the Wildcats retained firm control, 43-20. A point separated the two teams’ offensive output in the fourth period, with the Yellow Jackets getting the edge 6-5, but final belonged to the Wildcats, 48-26. Dora’s Ja’Mya Harris, Cordova’s Bailey Hendrix and Carbon Hill’s Abby Martin also made the All-Tournament Team.