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Tubbs, Cross lead Pats past Bryant

Jaren Turner (24) of Hillcrest pressures Paul W. Bryant’s Marcus Anthony (15) as he dribbles down court. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter )

TUSCALOOSA | Hillcrest boys basketball coach Scott Suttles has sour memories of the Paul W. Bryant Stampede. Suttles remembers, vividly, a time when his Patriots had a 28-19 lead after three quarters and allowed the Stampede to score 26 fourth-quarter points to win.

Suttles did not let that happen again, as the Patriots took a 12-7 lead late in the first quarter and never gave it up as the Patriots beat the Stampede 52-46 on Friday night.

"I’m really impressed with that Bryant team," Suttles said. "It took our best effort tonight to get out of here with a win."

It also took a great effort from Quenton Cross, a freshman who scored 15 points.

"I haven’t had any 15-year-olds playing at the varsity level," Suttles said. "I call him rookie, but he’s earning his stripes early in the year. We want to get as much out of him as we can."

Cross fell just short of the team lead in points, bested by Rayshaun Tubbs, who scored 16 points.

"He ended up with five 3s, but I was really impressed with the extra pass to get him those 3s," Suttles said. "They slide their feet so well in that 2-3 (zone) and they’re always in the passing lanes."

Bryant coach Shon Peck-Love added, "Our defense is

really what we hang our hats on. Tonight, it kind of let us down."

There was a stretch early in the third quarter when it took the Patriots six minutes to score three points on the Stampede’s zone defense.

"At halftime, we just reiterated that we hang our hats on defense," Peck-Love said. "We gave up too many easy baskets in the first half. We ran out of gas late. Free throws were an issue."

Offensively, Bryant got eight points from David Freeman, six on 3-point shots. While the 3-pointer carried Bryant at times, it also led to the Stampede’s demise.

"I think we relied on the 3 a little too much," Peck-Love said. "It was a five-, six- or seven-point game and we still relied on the 3. They just weren’t falling like they were supposed to."

Kevin Holland led the Stampede with 12 points and was the only Bryant player to score in double digits. Dexter Hood scored nine points and James Currington eight.

Hillcrest hosts Gadsden City today. Bryant hosts McAdory on Monday.