Wenonah definitely got its wake-up call.
The Dragons (30-3) scored on their first five possessions – despite the 9 a.m. tip-off – and earned a dominating 49-29 victory over Brewbaker Tech (24-9) in today’s Class 5A girls championship game at Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham. Tournament MVP Kaitlyn Rodgers said Wenonah started early-morning practices earlier this month to get ready for the early title-game tip.
“We got up this morning and got focused,” she said.
For Wenonah, it’s the second straight 5A championship and sixth girls basketball state title in school history.
“It’s a better feeling to get it two years in a row,” Rodgers said.
Brewbaker Tech never solved Wenonah’s fullcourt press, as the Rams committed 28 turnovers. Wenonah led 19-8 at the end of the first quarter, built a 32-16 halftime lead, and erased any Brewbaker comeback hopes by opening the second half with an 8-0 run.
“This is the goal we set at the beginning of the season,” Wenonah coach Emanuel Bell said. “I told the girls, ‘I don’t want to wait another four years to win get another state title.’”
— Star of the game: Rodgers delivered perhaps the most impressive state line of the week, despite scoring only four points. She added eight rebounds, seven assists, five blocked shots and four steals.
— By the numbers: 28, turnovers for Brewbaker Tech against Wenonah’s fullcourt pressure. “We have one game plan – we do what we do,” Bell said. “We’re averaging (forcing) about 30 turnovers a game, and we got 28. I guess we must have slowed down a little at the end.” … 0, number of 3-pointers made in the game. The Rams went 0-for-4, and Wenonah did not attempt a 3-pointer
— Memorable moment: Early in the fourth quarter, Rodgers defended a 2-on-1 fastbreak by Brewbaker Tech. Rodges, a 6-foot-2 junior, swatted the shot out of bounds, drawing oohs and ahhs from the crowd, and then then flexed her biceps in a celebration.
— Quotable: “I didn’t play last year, but, hey, I got a ring,” Wenonah’s Dye said.
“We’re definitely going to be back. … We’re going to work hard this summer to get back to this championship game,” said Brewbaker Tech coach Cynthia Thompson, who got choked up during her opening statement in the post-game news conference.
“It is a lesson tha tsometiems there’s somebody better than us out there,” Brewbaker Tech’s Jackson said. “You’ve got to keep fighting.”
“Right now, I’m just happy,” Bell said.
— What’s next?: Both teams look ahead to next season, when the Dragons will try to win a third straight state title. “Obvoiusly, they had a great game,” Thompson said. Complete article