Etowah edges Boaz 45-43
Sat. February 11, 2012 at 10:59 p.m. | By Times Staff
Etowah’s Bri Aaron goes up for a shot over Boaz’s Callie Rogers during Saturday night’s game. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)
ATTALLA — Etowah used clutch free-throw shooting in the final minute to claim a 45-43 victory Saturday over Boaz in the Class 5A, Area 12 girls basketball tournament championship game.
With Boaz leading 43-41 with 39 seconds left, Etowah’s Bri Aaron went to the charity stripe and calmly knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the host Blue Devils (18-11) even.
After an empty possession by the Pirates (13-14), Etowah’s Shuntara Howard went back to the free-throw line and nailed both ends of a one-and-one with 20 seconds left to make it 45-43.
Boaz brought the ball up court, and after a missed shot, the ball went out of bounds off Etowah with eight seconds remaining. After a timeout, Boaz missed a runner and a putback attempt before the horn sounded.
Aaron, who scored 25 points, was named the tournament MVP. Howard added six points, while Brooke Perry and Haley Hyde scored five for the Blue Devils, who started off slowly and didn’t take their first lead until late in the third quarter. Howard, Perry and Mary Cate Hereford joined Aaron on the All-Tournament team.
Boaz was led by Hannah Liverett, who scored a game-high 32 points. That included knocking down 18 of 25 free throws in the game.
She was named to the All-Tournament team from the Pirates, as were Taylor Douglas and Kayla Holland.
Albertville’s Madeline Munroe and Southside’s Savannah Thomas also garnered All-Tournament recognition.
Etowah’s win gave the Blue Devils home court advantage in Thursday’s sub-regional round of the playoffs. Etowah will host Fort Payne, while Albertville will travel to Arab.