Williams' free throws send Greensboro to final
Wed. February 29, 2012 at 4:23 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Greensboro's Kasabrian Fields (22) dives after a loose ball in a 58-56 semifinal win over Madison Academy. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter)
BIRMINGHAM | Senior point guard Cadedra Williams might dislike free throws, but she’ll remember her last two in Wednesday’s game.
Williams sank two foul shots with 5.9 seconds left, and the Greensboro Lady Raiders edged Madison Academy 58-56 in the AHSAA Class 3A semifinals.
The Greensboro girls (31-2) play for their first state championship at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. The Lady Raiders will face Lauderdale County, which advanced with a 62-53 victory over Montgomery Academy.
Greensboro took a 56-52 lead on two free throws by senior guard Kasabrian Fields. The Lady Mustangs answered with two foul shots from guard Lydia McGee. When Greensboro missed a shot, Madison Academy took possession on a held ball. Elizabeth Gilliam tied it at 56 when she scored with an offensive rebound with 21 seconds left.
Williams got fouled as she drove the right side of the lane.
"I hate free throws," said Williams, who had four points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. "I can say ‘hate’ now.
"At halftime the girls wanted to do layups and jump shots, but I told them the game was going to come down to free throws, and look who had to shoot them. I was nervous, though.
"It was real easy because I had faith in my shot after I made the first one."
Williams was one of the defenders hounding McGee on the ensuing possession.
"At the end of the game, Coach (Frances Dunn) told me to get on her because the other girls were in foul trouble," Williams said. "I had to do what I had to do because I didn’t want it to be my last game as a senior."
The Lady Raiders knocked the ball out of bounds at midcourt with a second left. McGee received the inbounds pass, but her shot hit the side of the backboard.
McGee finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds. Dunn said she decided in the first quarter that McGee required extra attention from the Greensboro defense.
"I went right away to a box-and-one, and I had (Kawandra Wiggins) in the box," Dunn said. "She got in foul trouble, so I had to switch her and go with Kasabrian. Sometimes she would let (McGee) go. At the end I had to pull up Cadedra.
"I told them that, ‘If takes four of you to hold 4 (McGee) down, that’s what we’re going to have to do.’"
Greensboro sophomore Malesha Williams picked up her fourth foul with 5:09 left. She managed to stay in the game and had 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
"Malesha got a little frustrated when she got that fourth foul," Dunn said. "Normally she doesn’t get four fouls, but she stayed in there. Kasabrian hung in there also, and they just kept the ball rolling, stayed focused on what they were supposed to do."
Fields had 17 points, four rebounds and two steals. Franetra Long and Elexis Evans scored six points each.
Sierra Jones had 10 points for the Lady Mustangs (23-11), and Hannah Hursman scored eight.
Reach Andrew Carroll at email@example.com or at 205-722-0223.