#2 Savannah Lee sinks the free throw. Photo by Reanna Pipes
Basketball season has arrived and the Montevallo Women’s team started off the weekend by dominating the court in back-to-back games. The Montevallo Falcons had their first home game of the season on Friday, Nov. 9. They played the visiting team from Spring Hill College.
Spring Hill took the lead during the first quarter with a five-point lead at a score of 24 – 19. The Falcons soon caught up, and by halftime, they were in the lead at 43 – 36. The final quarter, in particular, was filled with multiple turnovers and fouls from both teams. The final score of the night was 87 – 76 with the Falcons winning their first home game.
The starters for the Falcons were Savannah Lee, #2, Nautika Philpot, #10, Kiya Sain, #11, Cheyenne Cunningham, #24, and Aaliyah Rice, #34. Philpot was a notable player, who scored 24 points as well as Lee, who scored 19 points. Kourtnie Smith, #12, got many of the rebounds as well.
The Falcons worked well together when executing their plays, showing a lot of teamwork skills. It was a strong start to the beginning of the season, which continued on the next day. At 4 p.m. of Saturday, Nov. 10, Montevallo played on their home court once more against Tuskegee University.
Early into the first quarter, #24 of the Tuskegee team, Ashiana Jackson, was injured. She remained on the court for a couple of minutes before she could stand with some assistance. It was a leg injury, and she was unable to play for the duration of the game. After receiving care, as well as crutches and a brace, she was able to sit with her team and watch the remainder of the game.
By halftime, the Falcons were winning at 31 – 26. Tuskegee had a 2-point lead over Montevallo at the end of the third quarter. With the score so close it made the last quarter a nail-biter. Tuskegee pulled ahead by one point near the last 30 seconds at 51 – 60.
Number 2 for Tuskegee was fouled, making both free throws, giving them a 3-point lead with the odds very much against Montevallo in the last 17 seconds. Number 33 for Montevallo, Rachel Baker, came in with a 3-pointer, tying the game up. The game went into overtime with the score tied at 62 – 62.
The overtime tip-off went to Tuskegee, who quickly landed a two-pointer, putting them in the lead. Philpot secured two points, again tying the score at 64. Philpot was then fouled and made one of the free throws, putting Montevallo back in the lead. Again, Philpot took it to the hoop, gaining another two points. Number 21 for Tuskegee was fouled and made one of the shots. Number 33 for the Falcons, Rachel Baker, was fouled and made both free throws.
The extra five minutes added to the game definitely kept the audience on the edge of their seats, some for the entirety of overtime. The final score of the game was 71 – 65 with Montevallo taking the win, but it was not an easy one.
The win is undoubtedly owed to Baker, who made a three-pointer that pushed the game into overtime. Montevallo and Tuskegee both should have interesting seasons in front of them.
It was an eventful and successful weekend for the Women’s Basketball team, and they have shown a promising start for the season. Because it is so early in the season, Montevallo is in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Gulf South Conference. If the team continues to play as well as they did at the first two games, they could very well earn the top spot.