Chipley defeats Hilliard 55-50 in Class 1A semifinal
Lady Tigers advance in tournament, play again Wednesday afternoon at Lakeland
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 13:23 PM.
LAKELAND — Senior forward Ebony Williams scored a career-high 18 points, but if there was one constant for Chipley in its 55-50 Class 1A semifinal win Tuesday over Hilliard it was team.
The Tigers, 23-4, advanced to this afternoon’s state championship game against South Walton with contributions from a number of players.
Devan Blair elevated the Tigers with eight first-half points when her teammates were struggling. Jasmine Belser overcame an off-day shooting with a rare four-point play.
Sophomore point guard Amanda Paschal took over the game for a key stretch in the third quarter when she scored nine of her 13 points and offset center Aaliyah Coleman’s foul trouble with critical rebounding.
But it always came back to team.
“It was a team win, our bench played strong,” said head coach Heather Hingson, who guided Chipley to its first Final Four victory in girls basketball. “We trusted whoever was in there.”
Hingson credited Blair for “jump-starting” the Tigers’ confidence after a lackluster first quarter when they trailed 8-6. Chipley led only 24-22 at halftime, with Bria Saunders and Kasha Austin combining to score all but one point for Hilliard.
That called for a changed in strategy.
“We went to a man to man and left one of our girls guarding two players,” Hingson said. “We were double-teaming (Saunders) and letting someone else take over for them.
“They weren’t able to step up and do it.”
The Tigers also were able to stay competitive on the boards despite the 6-foot Coleman sitting for long stretches due to early foul trouble. Paschal led them with nine rebounds, Hilliard with just a 39-37 edge for the game.
“That was amazing; I know we got outrebounded if you look at the stats, but to continue without Aaliyah,” Hingson said. “She’s just a huge presence for us offensively and defensively in the paint.”
Chipley controlled bench scoring 22-2 led by Williams’ effort. She scored 12 points in the second half, with Paschal adding all but two of her 13 after halftime.
The Tigers also got two key baskets by Braylee Pooser midway through the fourth quarter that opened a 47-38 lead. The margin expanded to 53-41 on a basket by Williams with 2:23 remaining, and Chipley was able to withstand a Hilliard rally by making 10 of 11 free throws.
Saunders, a 5-5 senior guard, paced Hilliard, 22-4, with a game-high 26 points. Austin, a freshman forward, added 14 points and 10 rebounds, but the rest of the Red Flashes combined for only 10 points.
Chipley defeated South Walton during the regular season, but Hingson noted that victory came with the Seahawks missing one of their key players.
Blair 3-7 2-2 8, Sorey 0-6 2-2 2, Pooser 2-4 0-0 4, Belser 2-12 1-1 6, Paschal 6-9 1-2 13, Williams 8-17 2-2 18, Coleman 1-4 2-2 4. Totals: 22-59 10-11 55.
Simpkins 0-6 0-0 0, Wade 0-0 0-0 0, Cochrane 1-5 0-0 2, Dortch 1-1 0-0 2, Austin 5-19 3-6 14, Durrance 2-2 1-2 6, Saunders 8-21 9-11 26. Totals: 17-54 13-19 50.
Chipley 6 18 17 14 — 55
Hilliard 8 14 15 13 — 50
3-point goals: Chipley 1-5 (Belser 1-2, Sorey 0-3), Hilliard 3-9 (Austin 1-1, Durrance 1-1, Saunders 1-6, Cochrane 0-1). Total fouls: Chipley 15, Hilliard 12. Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Chipley 37 (Paschal 9), Hilliard 39 (Austin 10). Assists: Chipley 11 (Sorey 3), Hilliard 7 (Saunders 3).
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