Lady Knights fall to Kingwood Christian


Zarria Morgan made two free throws with 31 seconds left Friday, and Kingwood Christian defeated the Tuscaloosa Academy girls basketball team 32-31.

Tuscaloosa Academy’s Mackenzie Smelley went to the free-throw line with 2 seconds remaining. She missed the first attempt in a one-and-one situation, and Madelyn Pearce secured the rebound for Kingwood Christian.

The Lady Lions improved to 11-6 overall, 4-0 in AISA Class AAA area play. Kingwood Christian earned a No. 1 seeding for the region tournament. Tuscaloosa Academy fell to 13-9 overall, 2-2 in the area. The Lady Knights will be a No. 2 seed in the region tournament.

Tuscaloosa Academy overcame a 29-25 deficit with a 6-1 run. Hallie Harrison made two free throws, and Carlie Cochran hit a baseline shot. Harrison’s basket from the lane gave Tuscaloosa Academy a 31-30 lead with less than a minute left in the game.

Morgan had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Kayla Brown had seven points. Pearce, who scored three points, collected five rebounds.

“Zarria’s averaging about 14 points a game,” Kingwood Christian coach Andrew Pearce said. “She’s our most versatile player. Between her and Kayla, they’re both hard to stop.

“We had some girls step up, especially when a couple of girls fouled out. We had some big-time plays from Zarria, Madelyn and some of the younger girls as well. This was huge for us, going into the regional tournament and the playoffs for confidence reasons.”

Addison Harrison scored nine points to lead Tuscaloosa Academy. She hit her head when she collided with another player late in the third quarter and did not return. Tuscaloosa Academy coach William Johnson said she had a concussion.

“Addison obviously not on the court hurts us,” Johnson said. “She’s a good basketball player.

“We had an opportunity to win the ballgame. A shot here or a play there. It just didn’t happen. Kingwood’s got a good team. Our girls fought, but we just came up short.”

Hallie Harrison finished with six points. Carlie Cochran had four points and eight rebounds. Lillie Sansing and Kaci Cochran each scored three points. Smelley grabbed six rebounds.

Tuscaloosa Academy will play at Fort Dale Academy in Greenville today.

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.