Hokes Bluff girls cruise to 60-28 win


Hokes Bluff’s Tylynn Register and Westbrook’s Chloe Saunders fight for a loose ball. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


RAINBOW CITY — A balanced Hokes Bluff attack and stout defensive performance by Chelsea Machleit led the Class 4A, No. 9 Eagles to a 60-28 win over Westbrook Christian on Thursday night.

Carlie Shields scored 16 points, while Hannah Evans and Kendall Johnson added 14 points each as Hokes Bluff improved to 19-4 on the year.

Coach Jason Shields, though, pointed to another big performance that didn’t necessarily make it to the stat sheet.

“I thought Chelsea Machleit did a great job on (Westbrook star Abby) Lockridge,” the coach said. Lockridge, who had a triple-double earlier this month, was limited to just eight points. “After she hit that first one, we decided basically to go to a matchup zone. We just put Chelsea on her and I don’t think she got a shot off until sometime in the fourth quarter.”

Hokes Bluff led throughout, taking a 32-16 lead into halftime and outscoring Westbrook 22-6 in the third quarter.

Jason Shields likes the offensive balance he’s been getting lately.

“We’re getting better at it,” he said. “We play good enough defense, if we can get 45 points. ... it’s hard to score points on us. Our defense has been our consistency, our offense comes and goes, but it’s getting more consistent.”

The emergence of Johnson, a freshman post player, has taken some heat off leading scorers Carlie Shields and Evans.

“They get a lot of pressure, and that’s why that post player is important,” Jason Shields said. “If they’re going to isolate and leave you one-on-one in the post, you gotta be able to score. And Kendall’s getting where she can do that.”

Paige Williams scored five points for Westbrook, while Mary Grace Mayfield and Kennedy Vice added four points.