Paul W. Bryant breezes into area title game

Paul W. Bryant’s Dexter Hood, left, and Brookwood’s Dylan Hardeman scramble for a loose ball during Friday’s Class 5A, Area 7 tournament game at Paul W. Bryant High School. The Stampede won, 60-20, and advances to the championship game on Monday against Central. (Photo by Erin Nelson)

COTTONDALE | Paul W. Bryant’s Dexter Hood started Friday’s game with a steal and a slam, and his teammates added a few more.

Paul W. Bryant, the host team and No. 1 seed, downed Brookwood 60-20 to move into the championship game of the AHSAA Class 5A, Area 7 boys basketball tournament. Central advanced with a 55-46 victory over McAdory.

Central visits Paul W. Bryant for Monday’s final, which starts at 7 p.m.

Paul W. Bryant (26-3) took a commanding early, building a 21-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. Coach Shon Peck-Love was able to substitute freely, and 11 players scored.

"We really wanted to set the tone with our defense," Peck-Love said. "That’s one of those things we’ve been trying to get in these guys’ minds. When we’re better than a team, we want to go ahead and establish that from the beginning. I hope that’s something we’re working on — our killer instinct, learning how to put teams away and not playing at their level, playing like we play all the time. I think they did a good job of doing that tonight."

Guard Kevin Holland scored nine points in the first quarter and led the Stampede with 13 points. Hood finished with 10 points. James Currington and David Freeman each scored eight points.

"That first group really sets the tempo defensively, getting out in the passing lanes and anticipating," Peck-Love said. "We let our defense create for our offense. We didn’t have to do too much setting up in the half court tonight because our defense allowed us to get out and get easy points."

Cody Gaither scored seven points to lead Brookwood (3-25). Zach Lee had four points, and Dylan Hardeman scored three.


Central 55, McAdory 46

Central built its lead to 47-35 when guard Terrence Rice drove for a layup, but McAdory cut it down to 50-46 before the Falcons closed with five unanswered points. Vincent Davis took an inbounds pass and scored from the lane. Devontae Wells came up with a steal and passed ahead to the 5-foot-9 Rice for a dunk. After Rice made a steal, he sank a free throw to give Central (22-6) its final margin.

"It was a big win for us," said Central coach Robert Watson. "Our play was a little tense, and it showed tonight. Some of our players got a little frustrated and some of the coaches did too.

"We kept on getting double-digit leads, and all of a sudden they come right back and cut it down to four or five points. That’s a frustrating thing to get a lead like that on two or three or four occasions, and all of a sudden you’re right back to single digits."

Junior forward Jaylin Beard led Central with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

"Jaylin Beard played great for us tonight," Watson said.

Rice had 12 points and four rebounds. Davis had 10 points and nine rebounds. Jevaris Richey and Wells scored nine points each.

Marcell Moorer scored 15 points to lead the Yellow Jackets (16-16). Zach Davis had nine points, and Anthony Tolbert and Demarius McCorvey scored six points each.


Reach Andrew Carroll at or at 205-722-0223.