MOULTON — In her years at R.A. Hubbard, Alex Gholston always has placed second in the Lawrence County basketball tournament.
Her senior year, she's looking for that to change.
"It would mean something to me if we did," said Gholston after helping R.A. Hubbard beat Hatton 59-43 Friday night in the opening round of the tournament.
Gholston totaled 21 points for the Chiefs, giving R. A. Hubbard a comfortable lead early in the win.
"She hits some great shots two or three steps beyond the 3-point line, with a hand in her face. There's not much else you can do to stop her," said Hatton coach Chasta Chamness of Gholston.
The Hornets (8-13) played hard, led by Sydney Terry's 11 points, but couldn't find an edge against Gholston.
"She's so quick, and she has a high basketball IQ. She can shoot the ball well, she can create her own shot off the dribble," R.A. Hubbard coach Nick Vinson said.
"The greatest asset that she has is that she makes her teammates better."
Gholston's own outlook echoes Vinson's, explaining how the team wanted to open the county game.
"Once we get a lead, we play better," Gholston said. "I wanted to win the game early so we could just cruise and keep our heads and work on stuff we need to work on."
After trailing 33-17 at half, Hatton came back with more pressure.
"We easily could have just given up," Chamness said.
"We challenged them at halftime to be more physical, and they were."
For R.A. Hubbard (10-2 in Class 1A, Area 16), Ashlen McCoy added 14 points, followed by Oresha Sherrod with eight.
Monderica Garth had four, while Alexandria Mason, Caresha Hood, and Dymond Young scored two each.
Mariah Cantrell tallied nine points for Hatton, while Addie Carter totaled eight, followed by Boston Claborn, who scored six.
With the win, the Chiefs will look to change their second-place tradition in tonight's championship game.
"Hopefully, we can play well enough tomorrow to change that," Vinson said.
Lawrence County 69, East Lawrence 30: The Red Devils got off to a strong start, stepping on the Eagles' opening jumper with a 15-point run, capped off by a jumper from freshman Rachel Childress.
East Lawrence (6-17 in Class 4A, Area 15) scored 12 points in the second quarter, but couldn't match Lawrence County's 30-point 46-16 lead at half.
The Red Devils (17-6 in Class 5A, Area 16) limited East Lawrence's Angel Bolen to eight points in the game, while Brooke White led Eagles' scoring with 10 points.
Adrien Coffey led all scorers with 25 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Childress, who totaled 19 points. Tori McDaniel added 16 points, with four rebounds and five steals, while Whitney Woodard scored three points. Traekhara Wheeler, Kheala Roberts, and Emerald Ford added two points each.
Lawrence County will face R.A. Hubbard in the county championship game today at 6 p.m.
Meredith Qualls can be reached at 256-340-2395 or email@example.com.
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