Bedwell bags record 43 as Bulldogs blow past White Plains
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
JACKSONVILLE – With 6:16 left in the game and Priceville up 65-45 on a stunned No. 5-ranked White Plains team Feb. 22, Priceville coach Darrell Haynes elected to give guard Josh Bedwell, who had 34 points at the time, a breather.
After the Wildcats went on a 5-0 run in less than 40 seconds, Haynes put Bedwell back in the game and his junior guard closed out the game with nine more points to set a new state record for individual scoring at a Class 2A Regional. With Bedwell pacing the team, the Bulldogs cruised to a 81-61 win over White Plains at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the campus of Jacksonville State University.
"I didn't know how we were going to respond coming into a game like this," Priceville coach Darrell Haynes said. "I knew our guys were ready; we'd been playing well lately and were playing well as a team, but we didn't know how well we'd shoot in an unfamiliar gym."
The Bulldogs exploded to a 20-8 lead after the first quarter and were never threatened by a White Plains team that came into the game with a 30-2 record. Priceville shot a red-hot 59.6 percent from the floor (28-of-47) and the Wildcats had no answer for Bedwell, who finished 15-of-22 from the field including 6-of-9 from the three point line. He added seven points off free throws and finished the game with 43, breaking the old mark of 40 which was set by Barbour County's LaKeith Person in 2001 and tied by Calera's George Drake in 2005.
"It's kind of funny," Bedwell said following the game. "As a matter of fact we were looking at the program and (teammate) Stephen (Hardiman) was looking up the all time points scored in a game and saw the record was 40 and he said to me, 'You can break that. You've scored 44 in a game before.'"
Hardiman, who finished second on the Bulldogs with 15 points, proved to be correct in his prediction. Alex Cannon had 14 points in the game, all of which came in the first half.
"Alex came out red-hot and took a lot of pressure off Josh, and that kind of settled our nerves," Haynes said. "We knew Josh was going to be our big scorer and we just tried to stay around him all night and everything worked out for us.
"He feels it occasionally. He's had a few games like that this year where he just gets in that zone and he's hard to stop."
White Plains was led by Justin Sturrie's 16 points followed by Josh Mickler with 14. Wildcats coach Chris Randall was impressed with Bedwell's performance.
"He was definitely the best player we've played this year," Randall said. "He is a great player who also played great, and that's a tough combination to deal with."