AFTON — Showing the effects of a 14-day layoff, Afton broke out to a big lead early then struggled off and on during a 51-29 win over Oaks in the finals of their Class A Area III District 6 tournament here Saturday night.
“It never was in doubt, but we weren’t sharp like I wanted us to be,” Afton coach Gerald Sergeant said. “”We hadn’t played in 14 days. We got the big lead, then in the third quarter, we just put it on cruise.”
The 11th-ranked Lady Eagles (20-2) now face Gans in a sub-regional game at 6:30 p.m. here Thursday. Gans advanced with a 64-44 victory against Cave Springs.
The Lady Eagles raced to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter. Oaks didn’t get on the board until late in the frame, then Afton got five more points to create a 23-2 bulge at the turn.
A bucket from inside by Shelby VanPielt just before the buzzer gave AHS a 24-point halftime lead, 34-10.
Oaks scored the first five points of the third quarter and went on to outscore the Lady Eagles 11-3. That cut the gap to 37-21 heading into the final frame.
Afton regained control in the fourth quarter, using an 8-0 run to break the game open again. Macy Gibson and Van Pielt led the rally, VanPielt hitting four free throws while Gibson downed a pair of field goals.
Gibson had a game-high 18 points for the Lady Eagles. VanPielt and Ashley Carroll scored 10 points each.
Jess Thompson scored nine points for Oaks. She had seven points in the first half but managed only one field goal the rest of the way.
Wynter Cunningham scored eight for the Lady Warriors, getting seven of that in the final two quarters.
“We were in a little foul trouble so we dropped out of the man (man-to-man defense) and went to a zone,” Sergeant said. “We play man 99 percent of the time.”
Oaks 2 8 11 8 — 29
Afton 23 11 3 14 — 51
Oaks — Thompson 9, W. Cunningham 8, Philpot 6, S. Cunningham 2, Foreman 2, Philips 2.
Afton — Gibson 18, Carroll 10, VanPielt 10, Shaul 6, Todd 5, Grimes 2.