Don’t look now, but the Velma-Alma Lady Comets are closing in on a possible state tournament berth, thanks to a gutsy performance in Stroud Thursday afternoon.
After a sluggish first quarter that saw the Lady Comets down 16-6, V-A rebounded to win the next three quarters, and claim a 49-31 victory over No. 16 Davenport and advance to the semi-finals of the Area Tournament from Stroud High School.
This now makes two ranked teams the Lady Comets have defeated this postseason.
“I think some of it was nerves to be honest,” V-A coach Jerry Garrett said about the first quarter. “Davenport pressured us like we knew they would, and we were missing some shots as well. We just tried to tell the girls to settle down and play our game.”
The big turning point in the game came in the second and third quarters, where the Lady Comets (20-7) outscored the Lady Bulldogs (19-9) 28-5 to swing the momentum squarely in their favor.
“We just played more relaxed starting in the second quarter,” Garrett said. “We started pressing them a little more and got some shots to fall as well. Our girls were out there making plays and putting in some solid minutes for us. This was a team effort all around.”
A 15-10 run in the fourth quarter sealed the victory, and a date with either No. 12 Stonewall (20-8) or Woodland (17-6) in the semi-finals this afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
“I’ve got a little information about Woodland,” Garrett said. “I know they are a very athletic team from what I have heard. Stonewall is a team with a great tradition. Teams with tradition are hard to beat generally.”
Ariah Johnson led the scoring attack with 24 points followed by Kylee Saville with nine points and Teddi Southerland with six points.
“I knew these girls were capable of something special,” Garrett said. “I’ve always believed in them and I’m so proud of the way they have played. It’s been a long time since the Lady Comets have been to the area tournament, but the ultimate goal is the state tournament. For us it’s just one possession at a time.”