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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007
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Brewer rides 13-game winning streak into regionals

By Mark Edwards
medwards@decaturdaily.com 340-2461

FLORETTE — Brewer High's girls basketball team set the tone early for its sub-regional win over Muscle Shoals on Thursday.

Two days early, in fact.

Guarding against complacency after a thrilling victory in Monday's Class 5A, Area 13 finals over rival Hartselle, Brewer head coach Ricky Allen and assistant Derrick Garrison put the Lady Patriots through a tough, tiring workout the next day.

They didn't want their team to rest on the big win too much, and the strategy apparently worked — Brewer shot out quickly against Muscle Shoals and cruised to a 67-37 victory at home.

As a reward for winning their 13th straight game, the Lady Patriots (23-7) will head to the 5A Northwest Regional for the first time since 2003. Ninth-ranked Brewer will face No. 8 Wenonah on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at Wallace State-Hanceville. Wenonah advanced with a 56-16 win over Walker.

"Coach (Allen) wanted to make sure we didn't overlook Muscle Shoals," said senior center Courtney Scott, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds Thursday. "He said he had other teams get to this point and lose because they overlooked this (sub-regional) game.

"We didn't want to do that, and we got ourselves ready to play."

Allen said he got the hustle and emotion he wanted from his team, and it seemed to show especially on defense. Brewer allowed only a free throw in the first quarter and nine points in the second.

The Lady Patriots scored only 24 first-half points of their own, but that's understandable.

But Allen said the early shooting might've suffered a little because his team was "too hyped up."

"These kids listen to everything we say, and they always do exactly what we want," Allen said.

"We didn't want to let them get too relaxed after beating Hartselle, and they didn't."

With the early lead, Allen could substitute liberally, and all 12 players on his roster played at least most of a quarter.

Everyone scored at least two points, and nine of the 12 scored at least four.

Only Scott scored more than seven points.

Even the reserves didn't let up on Muscle Shoals.

Allen unloaded the bench in the fourth quarter, playing several new combinations,
but Brewer still outscored the Lady Trojans 20-17 in that period.

Kendra Jones, who
began the year on the junior varsity, scored all seven of
her points in the final
period.

Heather Steelman, another player who started the year with the junior varsity, finished with eight rebounds, four assists, three blocked shots and five points.

Heather Childers added four assists and Brewer had 27 as a team.

Meagan Hormel had three steals.

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