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Stampede thunder into region final with win over Talladega


Talladega's DeAngelo Scales (4) reaches to block Paul Bryant's Dexter Hood (10) during the first half of a game at the AHSAA 2013 5A boys central regional basketball championships in Montgomery, Ala. Tuesday (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter )


 

MONTGOMERY | The Paul W. Bryant boys basketball team displayed its unselfish style Tuesday and cruised into the Class 5A Central Regional final.

Eleven players scored as the Stampede routed Talladega 69-43. Dexter Hood, a senior guard, scored 27 points and had four rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot.

"We were so anxious to get on the court," said Hood, who made 10 of 17 shots from the field and 5 of 8 foul shots. "The main thing I kept telling them today was just keep going hard."

Paul W. Bryant (29-3) plays Shelby County (28-6) at 4:40 p.m. Thursday at Alabama State University. The winner advances to the AHSAA semifinals next week in Birmingham.

Paul W. Bryant led 10-8 at the end of first quarter and 28-15 at halftime. The Stampede outscored Talladega 26-14 in the third quarter.

"We knew Talladega was going to be a quick, fast team, but we wanted to come out and play the style of basketball that we’re used to playing," coach Shon Peck-Love said. "The guys did a pretty good job of competing and sticking through it in the first quarter when we were missing a lot of easy shots. They finally got into rhythm and just got going.

"I think our guards do a great job of complementing each other and looking for each other. They’re all pretty much good shooters. When they feel like one has an open shot, they don’t hesitate to pass the ball to him because they feel like the other one will do the same for them."

David Freeman came off the bench and made four 3-pointers to score 14 points for Bryant.

"He’s pretty much the best 3-point shooter on the team," guard Kevin Holland said. "We try to get him the ball every chance we get."

Fred Stewart and Tony Whitehead had six points each. James Currington, who scored four points, and Whitehead each collected 10 rebounds. Holland had seven rebounds, helping the Stampede finish with a 53-32 rebounding margin.

Ahmad Gooden scored 13 points and six rebounds to lead Talladega (23-10). Damian Hawkins had 10 points.