Covenant Christian sweeps VinaPublished 5:59am Saturday, December 8, 2012
TUSCUMBIA — The Vina Red Devils and Lady Red Devils found themselves facing off against a tough foe in Covenant Christian Thursday night.
Despite having a better season than last year, the Lady Red Devils fell to the No. 3 ranked Lady Eagles 66-29.
The boys’ varsity team fared much better but was ultimately defeated in a close match by a final of 58-46.
Star player Anna-Claire Noblit for Covenant Christian missed her first few attempts at threes in the girls’ game, but she soon got in a rhythm and began draining the majority of her shots, some from well behind the three-point arc.
The Lady Red Devils were unable to answer on offense, and the Lady Eagles had a comfortable 42-21 lead at halftime.
Vina came into the match with an impressive 5-2 record, but the newly top-10 ranked Covenant Christian proved too much to handle, and the Lady Eagles closed out the match with a 37-point victory.
Morgan Humphres was the leading scorer for Vina with 12 points. Jessica Pickle had 8, Miranda Howard added 5 and Shelby Boyd contributed 4.
The nightcap was a close game, as the Covenant Christian and Vina boys’ varsity squads swapped leads four times in the second half.
The Eagles had a narrow lead at 9-7 at the end of the first quarter. Two minutes later Covenant Christian was still ahead at 12-11, but the Red Devils took the advantage halfway through the second at 13-12.
The score ended up tied by halftime, and the contest would come down to the wire before a winner was decided.
“We played hard,” Vina head coach Brian Keeton said. “It was tight at the end, and we didn’t handle it well. We succumbed to the pressure, and we made some bad decisions.”
The two teams stayed within six points of each other throughout the third quarter. Covenant Christian took its first lead since early in the second quarter with under a minute remaining in the third, but Andrew Hester hit a three as time expired to put the Red Devils back on top 37-35 going into the fourth.
The Eagles reclaimed the advantage shortly after the start of the fourth quarter and never gave it up again.
Vina fought hard and stayed within a few point of the lead until late in the game, but Covenant Christian continued to put up points and hit its free throws, icing the game in the Eagles favor.
“These players don’t quit,” Keeton said. “They play off of each other. The team building is there, we’ve just got to learn how to win.”
R.J. Henderson led Vina in points with 17. Hunter Haithcock added 10 and Tyler Hammock had 9. Hester, Cody Renfrow and Brandon McKee contributed 3 points each.