Sports in Review: Rams highlight first quarter of 2023

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2023

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Editor’s note: This is the first in what will be a four-part series looking back at local sports in 2023. 

Jan. 6 

Eli Westbrook gets to 1,000

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Springwood fell to Lee-Scott in an area game, but Eli Westbrook surpassed the 1,000-point mark after scoring 14 in the matchup. 

Jan. 19

Rams win 20th straight game

Valley’s basketball team improved to 20-0 with a 75-63 win on the road against Handley. Jamarious Martin led the Rams with 21 points. 

Jan. 21

Lanett tops LaFayette in double overtime

Lanett beat LaFayette 64-62 in double overtime after Elijah Whitfield hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first overtime. This win set up an area championship game between the two teams at the end of the season. 

Jan. 28 

Lady Bulldogs beat Lady Rams at the buzzer

LaFayette came up with a thrilling win over Valley as A’niyah James connected on a midrange jumper at the buzzer to give her team a 27-26 win at home. 

Feb. 2

Three Bulldogs sign to play collegiate football 

LaFayette hosted a signing day where Ken Oliver, Joshua Bledsoe and Zyterrious Dawson signed letters of intent. Bledsoe signed with South Alabama. Oliver signed with Fountain City Prep. Dawson signed with the University of Lynchburg in Virginia. 

Feb. 3 

Valley passes the century mark in a dominant win over Lanett

The Rams asserted their dominance on the hardwood as they topped the Bulldogs 104-38. Denali Dooley led the way in the game with 30 points. 

Feb. 4 

Lady Wildcats clinch third seed in AISA tournament

Springwood topped Macon-East Academy 44-39 to advance to the state tournament. Tori Patillo led the way with 25 points. 

Feb. 9 

Lady Panthers win the area championship

Lanett topped Horseshoe Bend 64-25 to win the area championship. The Panthers completely dominated, Samariah Davidson led the team with 12 points. 

Feb. 10 

Lanett beats LaFayette in the area championship and Valley wins its own area title

The Panthers topped the Bulldogs 57-51 to claim the area championship. Elijah Whitfield led the way with 21 points in a back-and-forth game.
Valley won its area with a 75-48 win over Tallassee. Cam Dooley led the way with 22 points as the win improved the Rams to 28-0 on the season. 

Feb. 23

Tory Wooley named AAC Coach of the Year

Point womens basketball coach Tory Wooley was named the AAC Coach of the Year in his 10th season with the Lady Skyhawks. 

Feb. 24

Rams win Central Region

Valley won the Central Regional over Clay Central 61-36 to advance to the state semifinals. Denali Dooley was named Tournament MVP after scoring 17 points in the game. Cam Dooley and Jamarious Martin were also named to the All-Tournament Team. 

Feb. 28

Lady Skyhawks win AAC Tournament

Point topped Bryan 81-64 to become AAC Champions. Mataea Boyd led the way for the Skyhawks with 22 points

March 4

Eli Westbrook signs swimming scholarship with EIU

Springwood’s Eli Westbrook signed with Eastern Illinois on a swimming scholarship. Westbrook traveled to swim for the Opelika Swim Team since Springwood did not have a swim team. Westbrook was also a basketball star at Springwood. 

March 5

Valley wins its first basketball state championship

The Valley Rams topped Charles Henderson 54-50 to win the 5A state championship and finish with a 33-0 record. Cam Dooley was named Tournament MVP after finishing with 19 points in the title game. The game was hanging in the balance all the way until the final seconds, where Ian Crim-Davis hit free throws to seal the game. 

March 21

Lanett boys soccer sweeps Valley

The Panthers swept the season series over the Rams with a 5-2 win on the road. 

March 29 

Legends FC gets first win in club history

In its second game of the season, Legends FC came away with a 4-2 victory over Vinotinto Atlanta.