By Erik Harris, sports editor
PINSON — The game was tight for three quarters of play, and then Donovan Shangase took over.
The senior point guard led a fourth-quarter push that capped off Clay-Chalkville’s 63-48 home win over Gardendale on Tuesday night. Shangase was one of four Cougars to reach double figures in scoring to pull the Class 6A, Area 12 victory.
“Donovan Shangase is the most underrated player in our area,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Jeremy Monceaux. “There’s a lot of guys on some other teams that get more publicity, but he’s averaging about 19 points a game. He’s been our guy really for three years and when he has the ball in his hands, you’re a pretty good coach.”
Gardendale senior Jalon Moore converted an and-1 that evened the score at 44-44 with 48 seconds remaining in the third quarter. It was all Clay-Chalkville (12-4, 2-1) from there, as the home team closed out on a 19-4 run.
Shangase bottomed a triple at the third-quarter horn and later started the fourth period with a pair of transition assists to Isaiah Daniel, who stretched the lead to 53-46 with five minutes to go. Shangase and Daniel both finished with 13 points, while senior forward Jonathan Harris led with 17. Skyler Smith also chipped in with 10 points for the Cougars.
For Gardendale, Georgia Tech signee Jalon Moore did the heavy lifting with 20 points in the loss.
“Any time he (Moore) touches it, you just want to give a lot of help and hope the other guys miss,” said Monceaux. “And I thought in the first half they made some open shots and I kept telling our guys, ‘Don’t let yourself get spread out; if they make them all night, they just make them all night.’”
“And they ended up missing a couple and we were able to get in transition,” he continued. “That’s a good win for our team, they’re a good team and we expect it to be a war every time we play them.”
Things stayed tight for most of the night. Clay-Chalkville led 15-9 after one, 26-24 at intermission and 47-44 through three complete.
The Cougars are back in area play on Thursday night when No. 2 Pinson Valley visits.