Carbon Hill battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit for a 55-46 victory in a game that was decided in the final minutes Thursday night.
Carbon Hill (8-3) led 2-0, but didn’t regain the lead until the closing seconds of the third quarter. The game was a back-and-fourth affair into the fourth quarter before Smith’s dunk at the 1:37 mark put the Bulldogs up by seven points at 51-44.
“I think that (dunk) kind of put it away,” Carbon Hill coach Robert Epps said. “Oakman played a good game. We gave up 34 points in the first half. We normally give up 38 points in a game. We finally started playing defense in the second half.”
Oakman scored just three points in the third quarter and 12 points in the second half.
Carbon Hill trailed by as many as 12 points in the both the first and second quarters.
Oakman (7-4) went on a tear in the opening quarter with Eli Farley and Quinton Harris making shots in back-to-back possessions before Jase Trotter drilled a 3-pointer from the wing with 3 seconds left in the quarter for a 23-11 lead.
The Wildcats maintained the lead in the second quarter with Farley converting a 3-point play and Harris making a putback for a 33-21 advantage. Oakman led 34-25 at the break.
Carbon Hill started its comeback in the third quarter.
Daniel Woodard hit a short jumper 22 seconds into the third quarter to get the Bulldogs going. Ryan Simerly notched the score at 35-35 with a shot from the wing and Chandler Gann putback a miss with 31 seconds left in the quarter to put the Bulldogs up 38-37.
Oakman tied the game twice in the fourth quarter and trailed by just two points, at 46-44, following a Harris basket with 2:38 left in the game.
Carbon Hill responded.
Smith found a wide open Stevie Simerly under the goal for a basket. Smith added a free throw and his dunk before hitting Stevie Simerly under the goal yet again as Carbon Hill took a 53-46 lead with 1:16 remaining.
Smith led the Bulldogs with 19 points, both Kirkland and Stevie Simerly had nine points, Gann put in seven, Woodard added six and Ryan Simerly had five.
For Oakman, Harris led the way with 15 points, Trotter added 14, Farley put in 12 and Matt Wright had four and Purvis Coger had a point.
Next up for Carbon Hill is a showdown with Walker County/4A Area 8 rival Dora (5-1) tonight at Carbon Hill High School.
“We had to use a lot of energy (against Oakman). Maybe that’s a good thing for us going into the Dora game,” Epps said.
Carbon Hill 49, Oakman 17
Carbon Hill’s girls won their ninth straight game, coasting past Oakman 49-17 on Thursday.
Nine different players scored for the Bulldogs (9-3), led by Caroline Dodd’s 15 points.
Carbon Hill took control of the game from the opening tip, taking a 15-5 lead into the second quarter. The Bulldogs led 32-10 at the half and 33-16 after three quarters.
Abby Tittle had eight points for the Bulldogs, Savanna Lawson added six, Mallorie Buzbee put in five, both Korey Tidwell and Molli Clark had four points and Meagan Bice, Jessica Hurst and Lindsay Fluker each had two points.
For Oakman, Brianna Aldridge had five points.
Carbon Hill hosts Dora today.