Last year the Lady Eagles beat a heavily favored Anniston team to come away with the crown; this year Anniston turned the tables.
Jacksonville 16-7, just couldn’t control Alabama bound Quanetria Bolton who came away with 30 points in the Lady Bulldogs 64-53 win.
The Lady Eagles pulled away to an early 15-13 lead in the first quarter but Anniston came back to take a 30-22 lead into the locker room at the half.
Jacksonville drew within four points in the third quarter on a 10 point-run. Lady Eagle Virginia Poe, who led the Lady Eagles with 16 points, sank two three pointers to lead the comeback. Poe was instrumental with her play last year in defeating the Lady Bulldogs and gave the Jacksonville fans a glimmer of hope that maybe the same would happen again this year, but the Lady Eagles efforts turned up just short.
Poe was joined in scoring by Dasia Kirksey with 15 points and Angel Kidd with 12. Kirksey and Kidd joined Poe on the All-Tournament team with Kidd being named Most Valuable Defensive Player.
Also scoring for the Lady Eagles were Darrien Martin with five points, Sierra Stone, four and Destiny Easley one point.
Jacksonville’s run to the championship match was a fairly easy one with wins over Wellborn, Faith Christian and Oxford. The tournament started with an 86-6 win over Wellborn that saw all 11 Jacksonville players scoring. Martin led the team with 18 points and Kirksey added 16.
The Lady Eagles had an equally easy game with Faith Christian, winning 66-16. Jacksonville led 47-9 at the half.
Kidd and Poe were both in double figures with 12 points each. Also scoring were Kirksey and Martin with nine, Stone, five, Destiny Easley and Kelsey Ervin with four each, Quenteeria Mooney, Jasmine Easley and Ataliya Morgan with three and Brandi Canady contributed two points.
In a 60-39 win over Oxford, three Jacksonville players posted double-doubles with Poe getting 19 points and 10 rebounds; Stone 14 points and 15 rebounds and Kirksey 14 points and 10 rebounds. Kidd added nine points and Martin four.
Jacksonville Head Coach Ryan Chambless was pleased with the efforts of his team. “I thought that the girls gave a tremendous effort throughout the entire tournament and especially fought hard in the championship game, we just fell a little short,” said Chambless.
Virginia (Poe) and Angel (Kidd) are becoming very good leaders to our younger players. The attitude and effort of the group is very contagious. This group thinks they can win any game, against anybody, anywhere.
“We are trying to focus on improving daily and for the first game of the area tournament.”
The Lady Eagles received good news on Monday when a flip of a coin gave them the No.1 seed and the opportunity to host the area tournament.
Jacksonville, who had tied with Cherokee County during the regular season, will play No.4 Alexandria on Feb.6 at 7:30, following the Hokes Bluff-Cherokee County game at 6 PM.
The winners will play on Sat., Feb 8.
All games will be played at Jacksonville High School.