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Stampede wins area tournament against Central


Paul W. Bryant’s Tony Whitehead (34) jumps to block a shot by Central’s Jevaris Richey (00) in the Class 5A, Area 7 tournament championship game at Paul W. Bryant High School on Monday. (Photo by Erin Nelson)


COTTONDALE | Undefeated at home, the Paul W. Bryant Stampede earned the right to host one more basketball game.

Paul W. Bryant withstood two rallies in the fourth quarter Monday night and held on to defeat Central 69-61.

Senior James Currington was named the most valuable player as the Stampede won the Class 5A, Area 7 tournament title. Paul W. Bryant (27-3) plays at home Friday in a subregional game, facing Greenville at 7 p.m. Central (20-7) will travel Friday to face Sumter Central.

Paul W. Bryant started the fourth quarter with a 50-40 lead, but the Falcons rallied behind guard Jevaris Richey, who scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Richey drove for two layups, Vincent Davis banked in a shot and Richey made two free throws to cut the deficit to 50-48 with 6:45 left.

Currington assisted on a dunk by Tony Whitehead as the Stampede reeled off 10 points. Paul W. Bryant took a 60-48 lead on a jumper by Kevin Holland.

Guard Terrence Rice drove for a layup as Central cut it to 63-59, but the Stampede went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final minute.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Paul W. Bryant coach Shon Peck-Love, whose team beat the Falcons four times this season. "Any time you get a crosstown rivalry, that’s the kind of game you expect.

"Our guys came out poised and ready to play. They didn’t buckle under the pressure. Central made two good runs, but we responded real well. That’s the key to being a championship team as we move forward."

Dexter Hood and Holland represented Paul W. Bryant on the All-Tournament team. Hood led the Stampede with 21 points and had five rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. Holland added 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. David Freeman nailed four 3-pointers and scored 12 points.

Currington had 15 points, 12 rebounds, six steals, five assists and three blocked shots.

"He’s definitely a leader," Peck-Love said. "What he did tonight was what we expect out of him every game. We know we’re going to get 110 percent from him every night. I think that sets the tone for the rest of the guys."

Rice led the Falcons 24 points. Jaylin Beard had seven points. Devonte Wells and Davis scored six points each.

"I told them in the locker room this was about the happiest that I could be from a loss because of their effort," Central coach Robert Watson said. "They didn’t give up, not at all. Bryant has a great team. They’ve got a lot of senior leadership. You have to give them credit.

"Terrence did great. I ask Terrence to survey the court, get the ball to the right people and if someone plays one-on-one against him and they’re not playing him honest then them to the goal. He did exactly what we talked about."

Rice and Wells made the All-Tournament team along with Cody Gaither from Brookwood and Marcell Moorer from McAdory.

 

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