Class 1A state: Williams leads Chipley girls to title game

Michael Wilson photo
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 02:14 PM.

LAKELAND — Senior forward Ebony Williams scored a career-high 18 points, but if there was one constant for Chipley in its 55-50 Class 1A semifinal win Tuesday over Hilliard it was team.

The Tigers, 23-4, advanced to Wednesday afternoon’s state championship game against South Walton with contributions from a number of players.

Devan Blair elevated the Tigers with eight first-half points when her teammates were struggling. Jasmine Belser overcame an off-day shooting with a rare four-point play.

Sophomore point guard Amanda Paschal took over the game for a key stretch in the third quarter when she scored nine of her 13 points and offset center Aaliyah Coleman’s foul trouble with critical rebounding.

But it always came back to team.

“It was a team win, our bench played strong,” said head coach Heather Hingson, who guided Chipley to its first Final Four victory in girls basketball. “We trusted whoever was in there.”

Hingson credited Blair for “jump-starting” the Tigers’ confidence after a lackluster first quarter when they trailed 8-6. Chipley led only 24-22 at halftime, with Bria Saunders and Kasha Austin combining to score all but one point for Hilliard.

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