MONTGOMERY — Walking out of the locker room following the final basketball game of her career, Alex Gholston made sure her opinion was known.
For the R.A. Hubbard High guard, satisfaction overshadowed everything else.
But hey, winning tends to bring that side out.
Marqu’es Webb and Jasmine Rhodes poured in 19 points each, leading Alabama’s All-Stars past Mississippi 64-54 on Friday night at Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the campus of Alabama State.
The win marked Alabama’s first All-Star Classic win since 2009. Alabama now leads the all-time series 12-11.
“The only thing that matters to me right now is that I’m going out with a win instead of a loss,” said Gholston, who has signed as a sprinter with Alabama’s track and field program. “No one wants to go out with a loss.”
Austin point guard Takisha Jordan agreed.
“You’ve got that right, girl,” she said while patting Gholston on the shoulder.
“This was all about having fun and getting that last win. Getting the win always feels good.”
Including Gholston and Jordan, four area players were on the Alabama roster. Clements center DaNeshia Malone and Athens center Alliyah Smith also played in the game.
Smith led all area players with three points and a rebound. Jordan, a Northwest Florida State commitment, scored two points with a rebound and an assist.
“This week has been a whole lot of fun, especially getting to play on the same team with players who you’ve always played against,” Jordan said while pointing at Athens’ Smith.
“Pretty much everyone here is going to play in college, so the competition has been really tough. That’s probably the best part about this whole experience.”
“Getting to come here and be a part of this was good for me,” she said. “Going against all of these great players in practice makes you better, and getting to know everyone has been a lot of fun.”
Alabama never trailed, building a 10-point cushion by the midway point of the first half.
But Jayla Chills and Alexus Malone led Mississippi charging back, cutting Alabama’s lead to 35-33 by halftime.
Webb took over late. The former Hoover star and Vanderbilt signee finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points with 14 rebounds to earn game MVP.
“These past few weeks, I can’t think of a better way to end my high school career,” said Webb, referring to Hoover’s recent Class 6A state title.
Mississippi’s 54 points was a tie for the lowest in series history. In 1997, Alabama beat Mississippi 60-54.
“That’s the first thing we brought up after the game,” said Alabama coach Tiffany Frederick of Hoover. “My coaching philosophy is defense wins games, and that’s exactly what’s going to be expected out of these players when they get to college.
“This was a very talented team — a lot of great players.”
Contact Justin Graves at 256-340-2460 or by email at email@example.com.
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