District 1-5A girls: Rutherford's run halted harshly by Choctaw


Rutherford will travel in the Region 1-5A tournament.

Andrew Wardlow photo
Published: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 20:49 PM.

PANAMA CITY — If ever there was a demonstration of execution demoralizing emotion it was evidenced in the girls basketball District 1-5A championship game Monday night at Bay High School.

Rutherford came into the game with the momentum of its first win over county rival Mosley in 13 years during Saturday’s semifinals. It took Choctawhatchee all of 4 minutes to make that stirring triumph a distant memory.

The result was an emphatic 59-36 triumph for the Indians that gave them their own boost entering the region quarterfinals. Rutherford, 15-7, will begin Region 1-5A play on Thursday at Rickards. Choctawhatchee, 24-3, will host Suwannee the same night.

“Yeah, we wanted to come  out and go hard from beginning to end,” Choctaw coach Don Brown said of the Indians’ intensity at opening tip-off.

The result was an early 10-0 lead when Nadia Fingall converted a putback with 4:13 left in the first quarter. Rutherford used long-range shooting effectively in winning its first two tournament games, but when the Rams started 0 for 9 behind the arc in the first quarter Choctawhatchee was able to produce 11 points in transition.

The Indians already had opened a 20-2 lead after eight minutes, and their district title basically was secure at that point.

“We watched them all year and knew they liked to shoot the 3-ball,” Brown said of the Rams. The Indians paid close attention to Rutherford sharpshooters Tatyanna Bell and Alishia Williams on the perimeter, but were content to let their teammates fire away.

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