Gaston girls roll over West End 41-26 in county tournament


Gaston’s Destiny Allen shoots as West End’s Courtney Oliver, left, and Morgan Cleveland defend during the Etowah County tournament Tuesday at Gadsden State’s Beck Field House. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


Gaston advanced to the semifinals of the Etowah County tournament with a 41-26 win over West End in girls high school basketball Tuesday at Beck Field House on the campus of Gadsden State.

The Bulldogs (8-10) never trailed and their smallest lead after the first quarter was a five-point advantage in the second. Gaston took a 25-11 lead at halftime en route to the victory.

“We did a good job defensively,” Gaston coach Tonya Bogle said. “We did what we wanted to do: press them and keep them out of their game. They hurt us a little in the post, but with the pressure we gave them outside, it was hard for them. Overall, I’m pleased with the effort.”

Right from the start, Gaston’s defense gave the Patriots (7-12) fits. West End managed just five field goals in the first half. The Bulldogs got more than enough offense in establishing a comfortable lead quickly. Three consecutive baskets by Kierra Porter gave Gaston an 8-2 lead early.

The Patriots hung close for a bit, narrowing it to 12-6 on a basket by Brittany Self. Porter and Abby Elrod scored to close out the quarter and push the Bulldogs’ lead to double digits, 16-6.

West End scored the first five points of the second quarter to slice the deficit to 16-11. After that, Gaston took control. A 9-0 run to finish the half pushed the Bulldog edge to 25-11 at halftime. Porter’s 12 points in the first half singlehandedly outscored West End. She did not score in the second half.

Gaston slowly extend is lead in the third quarter as West End continued to flounder on offense. The Patriots managed just a pair of field goals and six points overall in the quarter. An Elrod 3-pointer late in the quarter helped the Bulldogs lead 35-17 entering the fourth.

The lead grew as large as 20, 41-21, off of a basket by Gaston’s Shaniya Wyatt, before West End scored the final five points of the contest.

Elrod led all players with 13 points in the victory.

Morgan Cleveland scored 12 points for the Patriots. Self contributed eight points.

Gaston will face Hokes Bluff Thursday at 6 p.m.

“They’re (Hokes Bluff) a good team,” Bogle said. “They’re a veteran team, well-coached, disciplined. We’ll try to do the best we can.”