Horseshoe Bend Basketball vs Woodland

Holt Tidwell shoots a 3-point-basket during an AHSAA basketball game between the Horseshoe Bend Generals and the Woodland Bobcats at Horseshoe Bend High School in New Site, Ala on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. [Alex City Outlook/ Jake Arthur]

Horseshoe Bend had more splashes than a middle school pool party Monday.

Knocking down no less than 12 3s in three quarters, the Generals manhandled Woodland 63-28 at home to close out the front half of their schedule entering winter break.

“That really propelled us throughout the whole game,” Horseshoe Bend coach Jeremy Phillips said. “I thought the guys shot well.

Klark James, Holt Tidwell and Luke Jones picked up 15, 14 and 14 points, respectively and accounted for 11 of Horseshoe Bend’s 12 triples. 

Regular head coach Chad Kison felt ill during the day and held himself out from the contest as a precautionary measure, letting Phillips, the school’s head football coach and athletic director who’s normally an assistant for basketball, take the reins for the night.

“Me and him work together throughout the whole year. We run the same things on junior high that we do on varsity,” Phillips said. “Just an easy transition. I’m around the guys all the time too. It hurt not having him here, but I thought the guys responded well and really, really just took care of business.”

The Bobcats held two leads the entirety of Monday’s affair, both in the first quarter.

Tidwell banged home the Generals’ first triple to put them ahead 7-4 in the early stretches, then when Woodland had what proved to be its final lead at 8-7, hit another to make it 10-8.

A steal and runaway layup followed by another 3 closed an 11-point opening period for Tidwell and opened an 18-2 extended run that put Horseshoe Bend ahead 30-12 midway through period two.

James saw another triple fall through as the clock expired in the first half, which ended in a 43-17 advantage for the Generals.

“We did what we’ve been doing all year long, working inside-out,” Phillips said. “They had a big in there, I thought we did well with him on defense. We were really able to push the ball up the floor and get the shots we wanted to.”

Sophomore Luke Jones buried a trio of trifectas in the third quarter. Even rarely-used senior Cully Sharpe got in on the action, banking home the team’s final 3 of the night to make the score 59-21, Horseshoe Bend’s largest lead at 38 points, after three quarters.

The fourth quarter featured lineups filled with subs and a running clock.

Phillips noted it wasn’t just the outside shooting that worked for the Generals against the Bobcats. A number of easy layups were generated by controlling the offensive glass despite the presence of two Woodland forwards visibly taller than any player on Horseshoe Bend’s roster.

“Before the game I told them, ‘I want us to be more physical,’” Phillips said. “I thought we were. We boxed out well, we put bodies on bodies and moved guys out of there. A couple of times they got over-the-back calls because we were doing what we were supposed to be doing.”

Woodland found no consistent answers against Horseshoe Bend’s 3-2 zone defense and turned the ball over often against its full-court press, to the tune of 28 points across the entire 32 minutes.

After a two-week hiatus for winter break, Horseshoe Bend opens the back half of its schedule at Dadeville Jan. 4. It holds an even 7-7 record with Monday’s win, its third consecutive.

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