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Paul W. Bryant clinches area title


Paul W. Bryant High School’s Dexter Hood (10) dribbles the ball down the court during Friday’s game against Central at Bryant. (Photo by Erin Nelson)


COTTONDALE | One run wasn’t enough to secure a championship, so the Paul W. Bryant boys basketball team staged two.

Paul W. Bryant took the lead for good in the third quarter, scored the first nine points of the fouth quarter and defeated Central 72-61 to win the Class 5A, Area 7 title.

The Stampede improved to 22-3 overall, 5-0 in the area. Central fell to 13-5 overall, 3-2 in the area.

Central took its last lead at 41-40 in the third quarter on a jumper by Antwon Bryant. The Stampede regained the lead as Marcus Anthony assisted on a layup by Dexter Hood. The Stampede finished the quarter with a 53-47 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Hood drove for a layup, Anthony nailed a 3-pointer and James Currington made a shot from the lane. David Freeman’s layup gave the Stampede a 62-47 lead. Terrence Rice scored Central’s first basket of the fourth quarter with 4:09 left.

"I think they kind of adjusted to the tempo of the game and to what Central was doing," Paul W. Bryant coach Shon Peck-Love said. "At that point they were playing pretty good defensively. They stepped up and made some stops and contested some jump shots. We did a good job of sharing the ball with each other during that run."

Peck-Love said he was glad to see his team make 21 of 29 free throws.

Freeman came off the bench to lead the Stampede with 19 points. He made four 3-pointers in the first half, one in the second.

"He’s a heck of a shooter," Peck-Love said. "He’s another weapon. It’s very important to what we do, having him come off the bench. He plays within his capabilities; good kid; good asset to have off the bench.

"Kevin Holland didn’t score much (two points), but I thought he did a good job moving to point guard after Marcus Anthony fouled out."

Hood had 16 points and five assists. Currington had 15 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Tony Whitehead had 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Rice led the Falcons with 19 points. Devonte Wells made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points. Jevaris Richey had 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. Vincent Davis scored eight points. Jaylin Beard, who scored six points, had four rebounds and blocked three shots.

"It wasn’t them defending," Central coach Robert Watson said. "It was us turning the ball over and not executing. That was our problem. The execution part came from us not being on the same page running our offense. I think turnovers were the story of this game tonight. I think we turned the ball over about 17 times. When you turn the ball over, bad things happen. They didn’t need any help.

"I thought we shot the ball pretty decent. They might have had a slight edge in rebounding. All in all, I thought we really played them even other than the time we started turning the ball over."

Central plays at home, taking on Demopolis at approximately 5 this afternoon. Paul W. Bryant plays at home against Northridge on Tuesday.

 

Reach Andrew Carroll at andrew.carroll@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.