IRONDALE – The Clay-Chalkville Cougars jumped on the Shades Valley Mounties on Monday night and put the hosts away early in a 49-34 win.
The Cougars (7-1) built a 31-13 lead at the half and cruised home to the win.
Five different Cougars scored in the first period as Clay moved out to a 15-8 lead.
An Anthony Holmes follow with 1:30 left in the half built the lead to 20 and the Cougars led by 18 at the break.
Shades Valley picked up the intensity in the second half and Clay-Chalkville lost some of its focus with the huge cushion.
The Mounties cut the margin to 16 with less than two minutes in the third quarter, but Colin Bryant’s lay-in pushed it back to 39-21 after three quarters.
Three quick baskets in the fourth period by sophomore Jovan Gale off dishes from his teammates built the lead back to 45-25 and the Cougars eased in.
The relentless Cougars’ defense forced numerous turnovers and the Cougars did a good job of limiting Shades Valley to one shot on the offensive end.
Gale, benefiting from some nifty feeds from Jalen Jordan and Holmes, led a balanced attack with 10 points. Holmes, Bryant and freshman Eddie Smith each added eight points and Jordan scored six.
Prior to the win over Shades Valley, the Cougars captured the championship of the North Shelby Tip-Off Classic Tournament, beating Southside of Gadsden 62-37 in the opener as Holmes scored 18 and Jordan added 10.
In the semifinals, Clay topped Childersburg 60-53, thanks to a strong second-half effort. Jordan scored 27 and Caleb Toney added 11.
In the final, the Cougars knocked off Talladega 50-47. Jordan scored 22 points to take MVP honors and Holmes scored 11 and made the all-tourney team.
Clay-Chalkville meets Hewitt-Trussville for the first and only time this season Friday night at Bryant Bank Arena in Trussville. Tip is scheduled for 7:30.
Hewitt-Trussville boys: The Huskies dropped a 73-71 heartbreaker at Hueytown on Monday, then were set to visit Pell City on Tuesday before returning home to face Clay-Chalkville on Friday.
Pinson Valley boys: The Indians dropped an 80-70 decision to Pelham on Tuesday.
Center Point boys: The Eagles boys beat Carver 53-50, lost to Minor 66-61 and then dropped a 57-49 decision to Midfield on Monday night. Shy’Im Cunningham scored 18 to lead Midfield as he continued his string of double-digit games. The 6-4 senior wing is averaging 17.7 points a game. The Eagles led 27-24 at halftime, but the Patriots put it away with a 19-point fourth quarter.
The Eagles beat Woodlawn 54-39 Thursday and go to Ramsay for a Friday contest.