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McIntosh ends Brantley girls’ season in Mobile

A dismal first half of shooting against McIntosh gave the Brantley girls deficit they couldn’t overcome in a 51-41 loss in the opening game of the state regional tournament in Mobile.

McIntosh took a 13-5 lead after the first quarter, and that lead stretched to 24-9 at halftime.

“We started the game a little uptight,” said head coach Andrew Kilcrease. “Eventually we got after it a little better and relaxed and played.”

The Bulldogs were 2-33 (6.1 percent) from the field in the first half.

The team settled down after halftime and went on to outscore the Demons 14-9 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 10 points.

With a jumper and a pair of free throws from Eisha Person, a basket from Nie Eshia Hamilton and a pair of free throws from Cori Burleson, the Bulldogs cut the lead to 36-31 with 5:24 to play in the game.

However, McIntosh went on a run, and although Brantley was able to stay close, they were unable to cut into the lead any more.

“We got it down to five several times, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,” Kilcrease said. “It seemed like we’d have a turnover or miss a layup.”

The Bulldogs found their groove in the second half and shot 12-24 from the field.

Person was the leading scorer for Brantley with 13 points. She also pulled down nine rebounds.

Peyton Hill was the next top scorer with nine.

Erica Daniels and Amahni Upshaw scored six and four points, respectively, but each girl came up with eight rebounds.

The loss ends Brantley’s season, but Kilcrease said he was pleased with the year, especially considering the youth of the team.

“Before the season, I didn’t expect us to win 20 games, but we ended the year 20-9,” he said. “I’m very proud of the team. With the exception of one or two players, this is the first time this group has been this far in the state tournament, and they played well.”