Year of the 'Dogs
Priceville boys and girls sweep Area 14 tournaments
Justin Schuver and Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
At the end of the night, there were two net-cutting ceremonies at Priceville High School – the boys on the left and the girls on the right.
The Lady Bulldogs wrapped up their Area 14 championship with a 62-57 win over Holly Pond and the boys followed suit with a 50-38 win over Falkville.
Priceville girls 62
Holly Pond girls 57
After scoring 24 points in the second quarter to take a 42-29 lead at halftime, it looked as though the Lady Bulldogs would cruise to their second-straight area championship. Holly Pond had other plans.
The Lady Broncos outscored Priceville 14-6 in the third quarter and cut the lead down to as little as two points in the fourth quarter before the Lady Bulldogs held on for a close victory.
"We lost our momentum," Priceville coach Stacey Lovett said. "It was almost as if we tried too hard to show them that we were going to win instead of just running our normal offense and relaxing."
Holly Pond cut the lead down to 62-57 with 40 seconds left and the Lady Broncos called timeout before Priceville's inbound play. Not only were the Lady Bulldogs able to inbound the ball cleanly, but they were able to run 26 seconds off the clock before Holly Pond could foul.
"That showed a lot of maturity, even though it was two freshmen and sophomores handling the ball for us," Lovett said. "That was big for us."
Priceville's Jessi Smith had 23 points and Keila Hamlin finished with a double-double performance – 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Marissa Chambers and Brittany Shelton each scored nine points for Holly Pond.
In upcoming sub-regional action, Priceville will host Fyffe Thursday night at 7 p.m.
Priceville boys 50
Falkville boys 38
In front of a raucous group of Falkville partisans the Bulldogs were able to hold off a feisty Blue Devil team to complete the Priceville sweep Monday night.
As far as area championships go, this one might have been even more heated with the county rivals facing off against each other. Falkville used a ball-control offense in the first half to keep the score low, trailing just 18-15 at halftime, before Priceville pulled away in the second half.
Stephen Hardiman had a productive night for Priceville, scoring 15 points and playing strong inside all night long.
"Stephen had a good start to the season and had been off his game a little the past few weeks but he showed tonight that he's very capable of stepping up and having a good game when we need it," Priceville coach Darrell Haynes said.
Josh Bedwell had 17 for Priceville, 10 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.
Heath Alford scored 16 points for Priceville and Thomas Holt had 13 for the Blue Devils, who will travel to Geraldine for a sub-regional game Friday night.
Priceville will host Ider Friday at 7 p.m.
Earlier round action:
Priceville girls 77
Falkville girls 60
Jessi Smith had a double-double performance Feb. 9 as Priceville moved into the finals of the Area 14 tournament with a win over county rival Falkville.
Smith, just a sophomore, finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Keila Hamlin led Priceville in scoring with 20 points and Stephanie Hardiman added 12.
Marissa Chambers led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 rebounds.
Katie Ward and Kayla Widener each had 13 points to lead the Lady Blue Devils. Emily Dabbs had 10 for Falkville.
Falkville girls 50
Catholic girls 26
Emily Dabbs had 13 points and Alesia Smith added 12 for Falkville, who advanced to face Falkville in the semifinal of the Class 2A Area 14 tournament in Priceville.
Falkville boys 57
Westminster boys 54 (OT)
Falkville's Blue Devils outscored Westminster nine to six points in overtime to claim a 57-54 win in the semifinals of the 2A, Area 14 Basketball Tournament at Priceville Friday night. By winning the Blue Devils improved their record to 16-10 and earned the right to face Priceville in the tournament finale Monday night.
The Blue Devils got off to a quick start and held a 13-11 lead after one quarter. However, they fell behind early in the second period and trailed 25-20 at halftime and 39-35 after three periods. Westminster led by four points with 1:33 left but a three-pointer by Thomas Holt and a free throw by Adam Dye tied the score at 48-all with 39 seconds left. The Blue Devils stole the ball with 2.8 seconds left but a 10-foot jumper by Holt banged off the front of the rim as time expired.
In overtime, Falkville grabbed a 55-54 advantage on two free throws by Holt and Dye added two more free throws with 10.7 seconds left to give his team its three-point winning edge.
"It was a great basketball game and a huge win for us," Falkville head coach Yancey Randolph said. "You hate for either team to lose in a game like that.
"I told our guys before the game that defense and free-throw shooting would decide the outcome.
"We stepped up our defense in the second half and Holt and Dye both came up with big free throws at the end."
Heath Alford led the Blue Devils with 20 points and eight rebounds. Cody Sewell followed with 15 points and five assists.
Jonathan King scored 21 points for Westminster.
Priceville boys 54
Holly Pond boys 36
Priceville's Bulldogs advanced to the finals of the 2A, Area 14 Basketball Tournament by eliminating Holly Pond's Broncos 54-36 on their home court Friday night.
The win gave the Bulldogs a 17-11 record and set up a match with Falkville in the championship bracket.
Holly Pond led 10-9 after one period while the Bulldogs held a 27-19 advantage at halftime and were out front 39-30 after three quarters.
Josh Bedwell broke the game open in the second quarter by scoring eight unanswered points and giving the Bulldogs a 27-15 advantage with a minute left in the first half.
"It's a big win for us because it ensures us a spot in the next round of the playoffs," Priceville head coach Darrell Haynes said. "I thought our guys stepped up their intensity on defense and did a good job of rebounding."
He also praised Bedwell's play.
"Josh is a big time player and he stepped up big time for us tonight," he said.
Bedwell led his team in scoring with 23 points. He also had 10 rebounds and five steals. K.C. Green had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Falkville boys 47
Columbia boys 43
Cody Sewell had 10 points and seven assists as Falkville knocked Columbia out of the Area 14 tournament in Priceville Feb. 7.
Heath Alford added 11 points and Adam Dye and Stephen Hogan each had 10 for the Blue Devils, who advanced to face Westminster in the tournament semifinal.
Jonathan McCowan had 17 points in a losing effort for Columbia, which is in its first year of varsity basketball.
Priceville and Falkville players named to All-Area Teams:
Boys – Falkville: Cody Sewell, Heath Alford, Thomas Holt; Priceville: Josh Bedwell, Alex Cannon, Hunter Teague.
Girls – Falkville: Emily Dabbs, Katrina Wildmon; Priceville: Jessi Smith, Keila Hamlin, Abbie Harris, Stephanie Hardiman.