The Enterprise Lady Cats won their first area championship since 2013 on Thursday, Feb. 11, with a 48-39 win over their rival Dothan at home.
The Lady Cats (14-6, 7-1) and Lady Wolves traded wins during the regular season and that back-and-forth battle continued on early in the area championship.
Neither side was able to find any footing in the first quarter and went to a 2-2 tie heading into the second quarter after a defensive struggle.
The Lady Cats jumped out on a 6-0 run to open the second quarter but Dothan battled back and eventually cut Enterprise’s lead to 15-13 at halftime.
Junior Jaida Gosha then took over in the third quarter scoring 12 points in the quarter leading the Lady Cats to outscore Dothan 18-5 in the period.
In the fourth quarter, Dothan battled back outscoring Enterprise 21-15 but it wasn’t enough as Gosha was on fire again scoring seven points in the final period as Enterprise held on to the 48-39 win.
Gosha finished the game with 27 points and 13 rebounds, while junior NeNe Nelson scored 16 points and senior Riley McCollough added five points.
“We played okay but the thing that was most impressive to me was we persevered and stayed strong and held on,” Enterprise coach George Scott said after the win. “We had adversity in the game but we didn’t fold under the pressure and found a way to win.
“This is really big for our program. We’ve been working for this for four years. They’ve worked really hard and we finally did it.”
The win means the Lady Cats will host the sub-regional round of the state tournament on Feb. 18 at home against Theodore at 6 p.m.
Enterprise started the tournament off with a 34-12 win over the Lady Lions on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the semifinals. The Lady Cats came out swinging and completely shut out the Lady Lions in the first quarter, taking an 11-0 lead into the second period.
Prattville finally scored its first points of the game two minutes into the second quarter but Enterprise still took a 29-5 lead into halftime.
The Lady Cats kept the pressure up in the second half and Prattville didn’t break double digits on the scoreboard until there was less than three minutes remaining.
The Lady Cats grabbed 25 rebounds as a team and also snatched 17 steals on defense.
“I thought we played a pretty good game, especially defensively,” Scott said. “I thought we handled our business and did what we needed to.”
Leading the way was Nelson filling up the stat sheet with 20 points, six rebounds, six steals, one assist and one block.
“That’s who she is as a player, man,” Scott said of Nelson. “She led us in scoring, rebounding, steals and just about every statistical category you could think of she led us in last night.
“That’s just what she does. That girl is a special player.”
Senior Harmony Baker added five points, three steals and two rebounds, while Gosha scored six points and grabbed three rebounds. Senior Riley McCollough also scored four points, dished four assists, grabbed three rebounds and had two steals.