Wheeler Scores Her 2,000th Point in Priceville Rout of Danville in the Class 4A, Area 13 Championship Game
By Russell Frye, For the Enquirer
The Class 4A No. 1 Priceville Lady Bulldogs were looking to win their second straight Area 13 title as they hosted their cross-county rival, the Danville Lady Hawks.
The Lady Bulldogs turned in a dominating first quarter outscoring Danville 20-6. They used a combination of hot shooting and high-pressure defense to build the lead.
Danville (17-8) took an early 4-2 lead before Priceville went on an 18-2 run to close out the first quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs continued to build their lead in the second quarter as they outscored the Lady Hawks 20-10.
The Priceville defense held Danville’s Jolee Cole, who scored 26 points on Monday night, to just five points in the first half and ten for the game.
Kathleen Wheeler entered the game needing just 13 points to be the first Priceville Lady Bulldog to eclipse the 2,000-point mark for her career.
With each point Wheeler scored, the crowd was becoming more and more excited as they were counting down to that magical moment for the Samford University signee.
Her 13th and 14th point of the game came with less than 30 seconds to go in the first half as she scored with a lay-up. Skyler Benson assisted on the basket that gave Priceville a 40-16 lead heading into halftime.
As the ball went through the net her teammates, both on the floor and on the bench, and the crowd went crazy in celebrating what they just saw.
Wheeler became just the fifth girl in Morgan County to score 2,000 points. Moriah Taylor of Hartselle hit the mark a couple of weeks ago. The others are Christy Ferguson (Falkville), Yolanda Watkins (Decatur) and Hayden Hamby (West Morgan).
“I couldn’t have done this without the support of my teammates and my community,” said Wheeler when asked about her history making night.
“Kathleen simply amazes me,” said Coach Terrie Nelson. “I am so proud she reached 2,000 career points on such a special night. Her community and school loves her and you could feel the admiration that people have for her. It is truly touching. I am very proud to be her coach!”
It was two years ago this week when Wheeler eclipsed the 1,000-point mark during the area tournament against Danville.
Wheeler finished with her sixth double-double of the season, scoring a game-high 24 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, in leading the Lady Bulldogs to the 65-40 victory.
“The win means everything to me, it gives me and it gives us one more home game,” said Wheeler.
“This means a lot,” said Nelson. “The girls are back-to-back Area Champions!”
Priceville also got double-figure nights from Skyler Benson and Jenna Walker. Benson finished with 12 points and eight rebounds while Walker added 10 and five assists.
The Priceville fans showed out for the championship game as they packed the home side and student section.
“The difference tonight was the crowd,” Nelson said. “I am so appreciative and humbled by the support shown to our girls. The student section was AMAZING and the energy was exciting. It will be something the girls will never forget.”
Danville was led by Cole and Madison Cartee who scored 10 points each.
Priceville (23-5) will host Curry on Monday night at 7 pm while Danville will go on the road to Haleyville. The winner of those games will advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament at Wallace State.
Following the game, the Area 13 All-Area team was announced. The all-area team was recognized for their play during area games through the season.
Members of the team include Priceville’s Kathleen Wheeler, Skyler Benson, and Jenna Walker. John Paul II’s Stephanie Andrewjeski, Anna Hall, and Alex Lewis. West Morgan’s Morgan Mosely and Madison Stedham. Danville’s Jolee Cole, Kayla Compton and Emma Broadfoot.