Carbon Hill rallies to area tournament title

Lady Bulldogs host sub-region game Monday

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 2/8/18

Carbon Hill battled back from a pair of double-digit deficits to stun Hanceville 61-53, winning the Class 3A, Area 12 Tournament championship on Thursday night.

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Carbon Hill rallies to area tournament title

Lady Bulldogs host sub-region game Monday

Posted

Carbon Hill battled back from a pair of double-digit deficits to stun Hanceville 61-53, winning the Class 3A, Area 12 Tournament championship on Thursday night.

With the win, Carbon Hill earned the right to host a sub-region playoff game.

The Bulldogs play Clements on Monday with the winner advancing to the regional tournament.

On Thursday, Hanceville led by 12 points in the first quarter and 13 points in the third quarter only to have Carbon Hill battle back both times. Carbon Hill trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters, but dominated the fourth, outscoring Hanceville 16-5 over the final eight minutes.

Carbon Hill, which entered the four-team tournament as the No. 3 seed, was led by Lacey Evans with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

“This is such a gratifying win for our team,” Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle said. “After losing the area championship last year on our home floor and to go on the road as the underdog and compete like we did tonight makes me as proud as I’ve ever been.

“We got down to start the game and we clawed back. We got down to begin the third and we fought back. We were just tougher than Hanceville was in the fourth quarter.”

Carbon Hill (15-14) trailed 19-9 after the first quarter and cut the gap to 30-26 at the half. Hanceville came out on fire in the third quarter, going on a 13-4 run for a 43-30 lead with five minutes left in the period. From there, the Bulldogs controlled the game, outscoring Hanceville 31-10 the rest of the way. The Bulldogs went on a 15-5 run to close the third quarter. Atkins cut the gap to five points with a 3-pointer and Cagejia Hosey scored on a putback with one second left to cut Hanceville’s lead to 48-45 going into the fourth quarter.

Carbon Hill grabbed the lead for good with five minutes remaining after another Atkins 3-pointer made the score 52-50. The Bulldogs got a basket from Evans and she added a pair of free throws as Carbon Hill pushed its lead to 56-53. The Bulldogs scored the last five points of the game.

Atkins finished with 18 points, Ricki Jill Burrough had nine, Makindle McGough put in eight points and added seven rebounds, Abby Martin had three points and seven assists, Hosey had three points and Alayna Ivie added two.

“This team has been through so much adversity this season, and even though our record isn’t great, we were 2-0 in the area tournament and are area champions,” Tittle said. “These kids expected to win. They are playing their roles, playing together and competing. We will compete Monday night and see where we are. This team has made believers out of folks and as their coach I have no complaints.

Carbon Hill has now won three area tournament championships under Tittle (2012-13, 2013-14 and 2017-18).

For Hanceville, both Kierra Merriweather and Kelly Pickett had 17 points.

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Varsity Boys

Hanceville 66, Carbon Hill 37

Hanceville pulled away from Carbon Hill early en route to a 66-37 victory in the Class 3A, Area 12 Tournament championship game at Hanceville High School.

Hanceville connected on 14 3-pointers in the game.

Next up for Carbon Hill is a sub-region game on the road on Tuesday. Hanceville will host a sub-region game. For the home-standing Bulldogs, RJ Evans had 25 points and Braden Morgan put in 12. For Carbon Hill (14-15), Landon Bice had 11 points, Destin Blackwell had seven, Jon Michael Madison added six and Braden Wright had five.

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Wednesday night

Varsity Girls

Sumiton Christian 43, Cornerstone 41, OT

Sumiton Christian earned a spot in the sub-region round of the playoffs with a 43-41 overtime victory over Cornerstone on Wednesday at Samford University. The Eagles will play Westminster-Oak Mountain at 6 p.m. today in the 1A, Area 8 Tournament championship game.

For Sumiton Christian (12-14), Bella Machen had 19 points and Lexi Jackson added 10.

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Thursday’s other scores

Varsity Girls

Good Hope 57, Dora 45

Marion County 51, Meek 47

Cold Springs 71, Winston County 35