Alexander Use Late Free Throws to Get Past Minford

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Free throws were a struggle for most of the fourth quarter, but once the Alexander Lady Spartans started hitting them, they extended their lead and came out with a 53-42 victory against the Minford Lady Falcons.

Leah Richardson made 8-13 attempts in the fourth quarter, including her last seven in a row.

Richardson led the way with 21 points and helped her team advance to the district final next Saturday against the winner of Wheelersburg and Eastern-Brown.

The Lady Spartans struggled in the first half against the Falcons stout 2-3 zone, and couldn’t seem to find their offense, as they hit zero 3-pointers in the first half.

Trailing Minford at halftime 17-16, Alexander came out in the third quarter on a 5-0 run and didn’t lose its lead the rest of the game.

“I told them at halftime they need to find the fire they had at Nelsonville (York) because we haven’t had it since then,” Coach Cory McKnight said.

The Lady Spartans changed up their defense throughout the game, switching between man-to-man, 3-2 zone, and a full-court press forcing the Lady Falcons to turn the ball over multiple times.

Early foul trouble caused senior Kendall Meeks to sit most of the first half, and this allowed for Jala Mace to take over down low.

The junior finished with eight points and pulled down crucial rebounds down the stretch, but what really showed was Mace’s hustle.

She was all over the place, chasing after lose balls and diving on the floor.

“It was the second game in a row where I thought she played like a senior who was afraid to lose her last game, and she’s not a senior which is nice,” McKnight said. “She just battled the whole time and set the tone for us early and throughout the game.”

The Spartans have a full week to prepare for next game, which will be next Saturday at 6 p.m. at Waverly High School against Wheelersburg.