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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2007
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Brewer's Heather Steelman bows her head as the Lady Patriots fall to Wenonah 52-40 in the regionals in Hanceville on Tuesday.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Brewer's Heather Steelman bows her head as the Lady Patriots fall to Wenonah 52-40 in the regionals in Hanceville on Tuesday.

Brewer rally thwarted
Lady Patriots' shooting goes cold late to end season at 23-8

By Mark Edwards
medwards@decaturdaily.com 340-2461

HANCEVILLE — They trailed by 13 points.

In the fourth quarter.

To the eighth-ranked team in the state.

But Brewer High's Lady Patriots rallied, only to see their comeback essentially snuffed by a controversial foul call.

Head coach Ricky Allen questioned it calmly and matter-of-factly after the game but said that if he were legendary college coach Bobby Knight, "I would get fined for bringing it up."

Wenonah beat Brewer 52-40 in the Class 5A Northwest Regional semifinals Tuesday morning at Wallace State-Hanceville, and the Lady Dragons outscored the Lady Patriots 10-0 after the foul that Allen questioned.

"It wasn't a good call, and it was the turning point in the game," Allen said. "These kids had battled. I know I'm crying about this, but these kids battled."

With 1:54 to play and Brewer trailing 42-40, Wenonah's Bridgette Barnfield stormed down the lane, running into Lady Patriots center Courtney Scott and knocking her to the floor.

Brewer looked for a charging foul on Barnfield. Instead, the officials ruled a blocking foul on Scott. Barnfield received two free throws, and she made
both.

After that, Brewer (23-8) took six more shots and missed them all, and a dream season that included a Morgan County championship, an Area 13 championship and a 13-game win streak had come to an end.

"I saw those kids play against Hartselle in the area finals, and they never quit," Wenonah coach Emanuel Tubb Bell said. "I told my kids that they're scrappy. Even when you're up, they never quit."

The Lady Patriots displayed that in the final period, after trailing 42-29 with little more than six minutes left and Wenonah (25-7) holding the ball.

But Scott responded by contributing consecutive baskets, and Meagan Hormel followed with a free throw and then a basket.

Morgan Crawley made two free throws, then stole the inbounds pass and sank a layup with 2:12 to play to slice the advantage to 42-40.

"That fourth quarter is the most courageous I've seen a group play," Allen said.

Had the foul on Scott
gone Brewer's way, Allen had a simple plan for the rest of the game.

"We just wanted to play good defense and put the ball in 23's hands," Allen said, referring
to senior guard Andrea Crawford.

Even then, it likely wouldn't have been easy. Bell said he realized what Crawford meant to the Lady Patriots.

"I knew what kind of shooter she is," Bell said. "I knew what she could do."

Crawford finished with eight points and three rebounds, and when she brought the ball upcourt, Wenonah had one defender shadow her closely.

When she got near the 3-point line, another defender would join in.

Scott, a 6-foot-2 senior, paced Brewer with 18 points and 11 rebounds, despite facing off against Wenonah's own 6-2 senior — Jasmine Tate, a Clemson signee. Tate finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots.

"Courtney saved the best game of her life for her last one," Allen said.

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