The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

January 1, 2013

East Limestone beats West to capture first NW Ala. Championship

ROGERSVILLE — The East Limestone girls basketball team won four games in four days to capture the program’s first championship in the upper division finals at the Northwest Alabama Girls Christmas Tournament Saturday night.

East Limestone (15-4) seized control early and was clutch from the free throw line down the stretch as the Indians outlasted defending tournament champion West Limestone 63-57 in front of a packed gym at Lauderdale County High School, which has hosted the tournament for 25 years.

Brennan Crabtree was 9 of 11 from the free throw line, including 6 of 8 in the second half, to lead East with 18 points. Point guard Rachael Diamond had a stellar all-around game with 15 points and five assists and made several key plays on both ends of the court in the second half.

Diamond said her team set a goal this season to surpass the 15 wins from the previous season.

“It’s very exciting for us to win this tournament, and it’s something I’ve never felt before,” Diamond said. “We just had to pick up our defensive intensity in this game and stay together. Staying together is all that matters because we’re trying to get more wins than last year, and we’re going for everything this season.”

East, a Class 5A school, took advantage of ice-cold shooting from West (11-5) early in the contest as the 4A Wildcats missed 15 shots in the first quarter. The Indians raced out to an 11-2 lead as Crabtree hit a pair of jumpers and Bailey Speer and Jay Johnson each drilled a 3-pointer to propel the Indians to a 20-8 first-period advantage.

East was on the verge of putting the game away before halftime and led by 15 points midway through the second period. But West clawed back with a 10-2 run fueled by back-to-back layups from Kayla Carter and a 3-pointer from the left corner by Autumn Bates to trail 33-26 at halftime.

In the third quarter, West whittled the lead to 39-35 when Bugg Grizzard fed Bates near the top of the key for a wide-open trey. But Diamond found Paige Pettigrew for a field goal off an in-bounds play, Crabtree made a free throw and Vonelece Richardson swished a jumper near the free throw line to push the lead back to eight.

After a basket by Anna Harper Gowan and Speer’s fourth foul, the Wildcats had regained some momentum in the closing minutes of the third period, but Diamond made a 3-pointer near the half-court line as the buzzer sounded to put East ahead 47-38.

East struggled from the field in the final quarter, but the Indians went 12 of 14 from the charity stripe. Tess Vessels made East’s only field goal in the fourth period, following a Diamond block on a whirling layup attempt by Grizzard.

The Indians’ bench outscored the West reserves 11-2, including nine points from Johnson.

Carter led West with a game-high 21 points, while Bates had 12 and Grizzard added 11 points and four assists.

Lauderdale County won the lower-division title with a 57-47 victory over 2A No. 4 Red Bay Saturday. Top-ranked LCHS, the defending 3A state champion, won its own tournament for the first time since 1999.

Four teams from Limestone County — East, West, Tanner and Clements — were in the 23-team tournament field. East, West and Tanner played in the 12-team upper division, while Clements competed in the 11-team lower division.

East will play at 2A Clements Thursday, while West will host area rival Central-Florence Friday.

The Limestone County Tournament will be Jan. 19-26 at Tanner High School. The Clements girls, led by Division I recruit DaNeshia Malone, has won the county championship the past five seasons.

Text Only
Local News 2
  • tractor*pull!2!.jpg TRACTOR PULL: A new generation takes over in Tanner

    One of the first families of the Tanner pull is the Haneys. Horace Haney, along with brother, Shirley, co-founded the event in 1976 that draws thousands to the county each year. The sons of those pulling pioneers now run the show.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay! Haney!.jpg Clay Haney follows in father’s footsteps

    After watching his dad pull for the past 20 years, Clay finally got his chance. Although he has pulled multiple times over the years, this will be the first year to compete for points in the Mid-South Pullers Association.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • North win streak improves to 12

    The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.

    July 24, 2014

  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014

  • Chris Seibert -1996.jpg Before politics, Seibert played for the Tide

    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

  • Run with goats Saturday

    Belle Chevre Creamery will hosts the first annual ‘Running with the Goats’ Saturday in downtown Elkmont. The event will feature a 10K, 5K and fun run on the certified Rails to Trails course.

    July 10, 2014



Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee