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by Gary Stepp

Ariel Nickell

The Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles finished the season strongly and thus earned the second seed in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Their journey to a potential KIAC championship and NAIA tournament bid began against Midway. In a rematch of last Saturday’s season finale, ALC defeated Midway 76-69.

ALC came ready to play. Despite super guard Carla Booth regulated to only five minutes of first half action due to foul problems, the home team led by twelve halfway through the opening stanza, 22-10. Sparked by star forward Ariel Nickell and junior Courtney Crowder, the Lady Eagles increased their lead to as many as twenty at 42-22 with two minutes remaining. However, with 1:57 remaining, Nickell picked up her third foul. Midway closed on a 7-0 run to finish the half, but Alice Lloyd still led by thirteen, 40-27.

In the second half, Midway would try their best to get back in the game. They went on a 13-6 run to open the final stanza and reduced the deficit to just six at 46-40 with 12:30 remaining. ALC may have bent, but they refused to break as they pulled back out to a 15 point lead at the 9:00 mark. MC attempted to make things interesting as they got within six with 56 seconds to play, but could not get any closer.

For the victors (18-10) Nickell, who was crowned KIAC Player of the Year on Sunday, notched 27 points and added 9 rebounds. Carla Booth, who was named KIAC Newcomer of the Year on Sunday, as well as joining her buddy Nickell on the all-conference squad, scored 16 points. Crowder played a huge game as she fell just short of a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds.

Carla Booth (left) and Courtney Crowder (right)

The only negative to come from the game was that sixth man Lacinda Hack suffered a knee injury in the second half and may be finished for the season. She was scheduled to have a MRI on Monday, but details were not available as of press time.

For Midway (8-21), Star Armstrong had 18 points.

The Alice Lloyd Lady Eagles will play Asbury University in semifinal action on Monday, February 25th, at 4 PM. The game is set to be played at IU Southeast in New Albany, Indiana.