Updated Mon, Feb 17, 2014 2:55 pm
The last time the Alexander Lady Spartans won a sectional title was in 2010. Freshman Leah Richardson made sure that that fact no longer stood after Saturday night.
Richardson would score 15 of her team’s 22 second half points as the Lady Spartans would win a nail biter 40-38 against the Southeastern Lady Panthers at Athens High School.
Alexander had a hard time getting its offense going throughout a majority of the game, as they went almost eight minutes without scoring a basket during the second and third quarters.
During that eight minute dry spell, Southeastern, led by freshman Audrie Wheeler, would go on a 13-0 run to build their lead up to 26-18 with about 3:33 left in the third.
Wheeler finished off the night with a double-double, totaling 17 points and 10 rebounds.
During halftime Alexander head coach Scott Hinton told his ladies that he felt they were being very passive.
Then all of the sudden, it was the Leah Richardson show.
Richardson hit a pair of 3-pointers and a couple of free throws, as she would go on an 8-0 run herself to tie the game at 26 with just under a minute left in the third.
After a little run from Southeastern to build their lead back up to five, Alexander responded to cut the deficit down to one with 2:22 left in the game.
Richardson later would step around a screen and hit an elbow jumper with a minute remaining in the game to make the score 35-34. This shot give Alexander its first lead since late in the second quarter.
“When she [Leah Richardson] wants to go, she makes everyone else go as well,” Hinton said.
Richardson finished off the night with 20 points, six rebounds and six steals. Adding to the win was senior Carrie Nostrant who finished off with 10 points and three rebounds.
After a bucket by Wheeler to give Southeastern the lead again, Richardson and junior Makina Milum would hit some clutch free throws to put the game away.
With the win, the Alexander Lady Spartans will face No. 3 Piketon on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Waverly High School in the district semifinals.