Skip to content

Handley basketball season ends in regional final

There will be no trip to the final four this year for either of the Handley basketball teams as they both took losses in the finals of the Northeast Regional in Jacksonville Wednesday.

The girls contest against New Hope was in many ways a microcosm of the team’s quest for its first-ever state final four.

Victory within reach, but never quite in its grasp.

Handley fell to New Hope 70-61 in a game that they led only once but were never out of until the very end. It was the third straight season that Handley reached the regional finals only to fall short of the state’s biggest stage.

If any one player was deserving of having her efforts rewarded with a trip to the final four it was Handley senior Teanna Watts. Watts was relentless with the basketball in her hands, particularly in the second half, and finished with 35 points to lead all scorers.

Handley scored 34 points in the second half, and Watts – who sat out much of the second quarter after picking up two quick fouls – scored 28 of those second half points.

Handley’s only lead came, not at the hands of Watts, but on a three-point play by Kia Brown – her only points of the game – with 3:35 left in the third quarter to make the score 39-38 in favor of the Lady Tigers.

But New Hope responded by scoring the game’s next seven points, and Handley was never able to regain the lead. The closest the Lady Tigers got after that was three points behind, the final time at 65-62 after a free throw by Watts with just over a minute to play.

That turned out to be Handley’s final point as New Hope put the game away from the free throw line.

Takeriauna Mosley, one of the few non-seniors on the team and cornerstone player for the future of Handley basketball, finished with 13 points. Emelia Askew was held to six points, but led the Lady Tigers with 14 rebounds.

Handley, which will bid farewell to six seniors – Watts, Askew, Jayla Trammell, Shaniah Allen, Tiana Nolan and Shy Bell – finishes the season with a record of 23-10.

Boys

Jacksonville came into the boys Northeast Regional final as the heavy favorite, and after an early challenge from the Handley Tigers, Jacksonville lived up to that billing as they ended the Handley season with an 83-66 win.

Jacksonville scored the game’s first nine points and never trailed in the contest, but Handley made a game of it until Jacksonville started to pull away early in the fourth quarter.

Both teams struggled with foul trouble, and Handley took advantage of the Jacksonville backups to put together 9-0 run and make it a 48-45 game on a layup by Tamarious Treadwell with 1:47 left in the third quarter. That basket got starters Cade Phillips and John Broom back in the game for Jacksonville, and the result was a quick 6-0 run that got the lead back up to nine points.

Handley trimmed it to 56-50 early in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers would get no closer than that the rest of the way.

Rondai Banks led Handley with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but no other Handley player reached double figures in scoring. Meanwhile Jacksonville had five players reach double digits in points.

Handley finishes the season with a record of 18-12.

Handley senior Emelia Askew finished with six points and 14 rebounds before fouling out in her team’s 70-61 loss to New Hope in the Northeast Regional finals in Jacksonville Wednesday.

Leave a Comment