By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
PINSON — Terry Coner Jr. ignored the blood coming from his left nostril, regarding it as just the price of doing business as Pinson Valley held on against a very physical Gadsden City team for a 63-56 victory on Monday, December 6, 2021.
Coner stuffed his nostril with tissue paper after being bloodied when he drove the lane to score early in the first half, and played on. He racked up 25 points, and Pinson Valley shrugged off an ice-cold first half to get the victory.
Shooting woes have plagued Pinson Valley of late, said head coach Darrell Barber moments after the win.
“It’s a cause for concern,” head coach Darrell Barber said. “We have not been hitting shots lately, but like I always tell them — if we’re not hitting shots, one thing we can always do is defend.”
The game indeed started out as a defensive battle, with neither team scoring for the first three-and-a-half minutes as Gadsden City clogged the lanes and challenged every pass.
Riley Sigler finally hit one of two from the charity stripe to get Pinson Valley on the board, 1-0. They never relinquished that lead, largely thanks to Coner’s heroics, including a three-point answer to Gadsen City’s Dy’lan Sawyer-Swain’s barrage of threes during a ferocious late rally that saw the Titans cut Pinson Valley’s lead to two, 44-42 at one point.
“When we needed them, he hit the shots that we needed,” Barber said. “We just have to go back to the drawing board. We just — I’m a little frustrated right now — when you can’t do anything else, you can play defense. That’s who we are. When our shots aren’t falling, we have to play defense. We have to get better.”
The Titans could get no closer, however, and Pinson Valley preserved the victory.
Pinson Valley’s defense kept Gadsden City to single digits in the first period, leading 10-8 at the buzzer. TJ Judkins put Pinson Valley up by 10 at the half when he drained a late three to make it 28-18, and the teams went into the locker rooms at the break.