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Prattville stops Cats’ area streak

Published 5:52pm Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Benjamin Russell’s perfect start in Class 6A, Area 8 play came to an end Tuesday night in Prattville, as the Lions defeated the Wildcats 81-73.

It was just a two-point Prattville lead with less than two minutes to play, but the Lions made 9 of 9 free throws down the stretch and kept the BRHS offense in check to keep the Cats from clinching the regular season area title.

BRHS (8-8) and Prattville (7-10) each have one loss in the area standings. If the Cats win at Wetumpka today and the Lions take care of their two remaining area contests, the host of the area tournament will be determined by a coin flip.

BRHS coach Jeff Hines said bad man-to-man defense, getting out-rebounded and poor half-court offense contributed to the loss Wednesday.

“When you don’t play well in those phases, it’s hard to win,” Hines said. “We can’t give up 81 points. Our success has come when we hold teams in the 60s. We average 43 rebounds a game, and we only got 29 on Wednesday.

“And I’ll take responsibility for struggling in the fourth quarter late. We needed some good looks, and we didn’t get them.”

The Cats turned a two-point deficit after one quarter into a 35-32 lead at halftime, but the Lions outscored BRHS by nine in the third.

Cornelius Johnson had a solid outing despite the loss, draining all six of his team’s 3-pointers and totaling 25 points. LaPrintence Gunn poured in 20 for the Cats.

Hines is hoping the loss will help his club down the road. For a team trying to turn the corner, the Cats need to take some pointers from their miscues in games like Wednesday’s, he said.

“It’s been a while since Benjamin Russell has been in this position in the area, so we’re still kind of in unchartered waters,” Hines said. “We didn’t respond well to their runs in crunch time. We’ve got to be able to learn from that and correct those mistakes in situations like those in the future.”

Cody Brooks was the third Wildcat in double figures with 10 points. Lagori McCain had nine points and seven rebounds, with five of those coming on the offensive glass. BRHS was 15 of 23 from the foul line.

Prattville got 23 points from Jaylen Whitlow and double-doubles from Derrick Moncrief (19 points, 11 rebounds) and George Rowe (11 points, 10 rebounds).

Slow 1st quarter too much for Lady Cats to overcome

A terrible start to Wednesday’s girls game did in the Lady Wildcats, as they lost their sixth straight match-up.

The Lady Lions scored the first 23 points of the night on their way to a 51-32 triumph over BRHS (3-13, 1-4).

It was 19-0 after the first quarter. The Lady Cats finally got on the board with a Tee Buckner free throw with 5:23 left in the first half. BRHS trailed 25-12 at halftime.

The Lady Lions improved to 13-7 overall and 4-0 in the area. They will clinch home-court advantage in the area tournament if they beat Stanhope, who they’ve already defeated 64-44 earlier in the year, on Friday.

Buckner led BRHS with 12 points and Jernika Russell closed with 10. Hannah Cables paced Prattville with 18.

Edward Bell picks up big area sweep over Notasulga

The Edward Bell boys won their second game out of three and evened their area record with a 68-66 victory over Notasulga in Camp Hill on Tuesday.

In a close game throughout, the Bears held on after the Blue Devils missed an 8-footer that would have tied things up with less than 15 seconds to play.

“Notasulga has seven seniors and for us, a team with no seniors, that’s a big win,” head coach Mitch Joiner said. “They threw a lot of different defenses at us and we responded well. They had a 6-5 guy down low and he hurt us some, but we did a good job on him.”

Joiner said the lead hovered around the 10-point mark until Notasulga’s Kenneth Tolbert got hot. He nailed six treys and scored 20 points, but the Bears’ Eddie Webb matched him with 20 points of his own.

EBHS is now 5-11 overall, but 2-2 in Class 1A, 6 action. The Bears have four sraight area games (three at home) on the schedule after tonight’s tilt with Wadley.

Kiunte Dowdell and Chris Black both shined with double-doubles. Dowdell  had 18 rebounds and 11 points, while Black posted 14 points and 10 boards.

D.J. Black added 12 points and seven rebounds.

Desharte Edwards scored 24 points and the Edward Bell Lady Bears used a big fourth quarter to defeat the Lady Blue Devils 53-37.

The margin was no more than three for either team at the end of each of the first three quarters, but EBHS poured it on and outscored Notasulga 24-10 in the final eight minutes.

“It was nip-and-tuck all the way until the fourth quarter,” coach Nancy Shealey said. “We played better defense and made our free throws and that was the difference.”

EBHS (10-4, 3-1) got 11 points from eighth grader Janeisha Moss and 10 from Kierra Billingsley.

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