Members of the Cold Springs Eagles girls basketball team don’t hesitate when they have a chance to take a shot from beyond the 3-point arc.
They’re going to let it fly.
“They’re not afraid to shoot it,” coach Tammy West said of her squad. “Most all of them have the green light so there’s no hesitation. I think that helps them a lot because they know, ‘Hey, I’m going to shoot this. If I miss it, (as) long as that was a good shot, I’m good.’ They just have confidence shooting the ball knowing that they do have the green light.”
There is a similar mindset among the boys team from Plainview High.
“We want open threes and wide-open layups,” senior Koby Tinker said. “We move the ball around until we find someone open. That’s a good shot for us.”
The boys from Plainview and the girls from Cold Springs appear to be playing a unique version of the children’s game red light-green light. In their version, the light is always green from 3-point range.
Cold Springs takes on Fyffe at 9 a.m. for the Class 2A girls title. Plainview faces Westminster at 2:15 p.m. for the Class 3A boys crown.
And if history is any indication, 3-pointers will be key to the Eagles and Bears teams’ pursuit of a blue championship trophy.
Plainview has a state record in its sights. The Bears already have the most 3-pointers made in a season: they made 467 of the long-range shots last season as they won the state championship. They would have to hit 24 3-pointers to break that record. That’s a tall task, until you realize they hold the state record of 25 3-pointers in one game, again set last season.
Plainview has other marks for 3-point marksmanship. They:
- Attempted a record 57 3-point shots in a game, a victory last season over North Sand Mountain.
- Set the record for combined 3-pointers shots at 80, with them launching 71 and North Sand Mountain 46. The victors hit 14 and North Sand Mountain 10.
- Attempted a record 1,288 3-pointers last season.
- Twice teamed with opponents to make the most 3-pointers in a game at 33.
- Had the most players (10) who hit at least one 3-pointer in a game last season. They also twice teamed with opponents to have the most combined shooters of 3-pointers. Each time, they had 10 and the opponent had six.
“It’s something we kind of worked on since seventh grade,” Tinker said. “We don’t really look at it as a big deal. It’s just something we’re kind of used to.”
Plainview nailed 15 treys in its Tuesday semifinal victory over Prattville Christian. That mark was set even though senior Caden Millican – who hit the championship-winning 3-pointer last season – went 0 for 5 from beyond the arc against Prattville.
During practice Thursday at Mountain Brook High’s Spartan Arena, Millican said his misses didn’t matter.
“We trust all of our teammates,” he said. “Every time we pass it to them, if they have a good shot we all expect it to go in. We don’t care who gets the shot as long as the shot goes in.”
Coach Robi Coker preaches that his players trust their teammates and their shooting philosophy.
“They trust their teammate’s going to make the right play so it frees them up to make the right play,” he said. “’I know that when I’m open my teammate’s going to pass me the ball and when my teammate’s open I’ll pass the ball.’ They just do a great job of trusting one another and trying to make the right basketball play every time down the floor.”
The girls from Cold Springs have added to their 3-point records this season. Their 20 3-pointers in an area tournament game tied the mark for most treys made in a girls game, tying West Point, coached by West’s brother, John Welborn.
Cold Springs and Cleveland this season combined for a record 26 3-pointers made, with the Eagles notching 20.
Cold Springs has 11 of the top 33 seasons for a girls team making 3-pointers, including the top mark of 336 set in 2007-08. With 332 so far this season, that mark will fall if the Eagles hit five shots from distance.
“It’s kind of been how we’ve been raised,” said Cold Springs senior Camryn Crider. “I’ve been shooting 3-pointers since I was really young and so have the rest of my teammates. Every team Miss West has had here has been really good at shooting the three.”
Junior Elizabeth Hill transferred from Birmingham’s John Carroll Catholic High School to join Cold Springs. West said the former Cavaliers player is a key to the Eagles’ long-range shooting prowess.
“She’s a guard who can play post,” the coach said. “The way she can attack and get to the rim helps everybody else be able to be open outside.”
Hewitt-Trussville (21-10) 48, Auburn (24-5) 45
Hoover (33-1) 57, McGill-Toolen Catholic (29-3) 49
7A Girls Finals
Saturday, March 2, 4 p.m.
Mountain Brook (30-3) 59, Lee-Montgomery (29-4) 48
Hoover (24-9) 55 vs. Baker (21-13) 59
6A Boys Finals
Saturday, March 2, 5:45 p.m.
THURSDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 1A Girls Finals
Phillips (26-10) 71 vs. Skyline (29-6) 63
Class 1A Boys Finals
Decatur Heritage (31-4) vs. St. Luke’s Episcopal (18-9), 5:45 p.m.
FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 2A Girls Finals
Cold Springs (27-6) vs. Fyffe (30-5,9 a.m.
Class 2A Boys Finals
Central-Coosa (22-4) vs. Sacred Heart Catholic (23-10), 10:45 a.m.
Class 3A Girls Finals
Montgomery Academy (31-2) vs. Pisgah (33-1), 12:30 p.m.
Class 3A Boys Finals
Westminster Christian (27-4) vs. Plainview (32-4), 2:15 p.m.
Class 4A Girls Finals
Rogers (31-3) vs. Anniston (29-4), 4 p.m.
Class 4A Boys Finals
West Limestone (21-13) vs. Talladega (25-8), 5:45 p.m.
SATURDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCHEDULE
Class 5A Girls Finals
Madison Academy (28-7) vs. Central-Tuscaloosa (27-3), 9 a.m.
Class 5A Boys Finals
Wenonah (30-5) vs. Center Point (18-14), 10:45 a.m.
Class 6A Girls Finals
Opelika (26-6) vs. Hazel Green (33-3), 12:30 p.m.
Class 6A Boys Finals
Carver-Montgomery (23-10) vs. Pinson Valley (23-9), 2:15 p.m.
Class 7A Girls Finals, Saturday, Mar. 2, 4 p.m.
Class 7A Boys Finals, Saturday, Mar. 2, 5:45 p.m.