By Bobby Mathews, Sports Editor
SPRINGVILLE — Hewitt-Trussville’s Ray Rolley banged home a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter to push the Huskies’ lead over Springville to 10 points, but the Tigers turned the momentum late in the third quarter and blitzed their opponents late for a 62-45 victory here on Saturday, December 11.
Less than 24 hours after dispatching Pell City 42-36 in an emotional game that saw the return of former Springville coach turned Pell City head coach Jeff Smith, the Tigers came out flat in the first half as the Hewitt-Trussville full-court press caused Springville some issues. In the back-and-forth final moments of the first half, the Huskies seized the lead and went into the locker room up by a bucket, 26-24.
“We had a really tough, emotional game last night in an area game that was standing-room only in here,” Springville head coach Jeremy Monceaux said after the win. “I knew that we’d have to rebound emotionally. We talked at halftime, you know Springville just has a certain pride about its city here, you know what I mean? You’ll see ‘Tiger Pride’ stickers everywhere around the city, and we just talked about having that Tiger Pride against a team that’s right down the road.”
But the momentum began to change late in the third period when Ayden Walton drove to the bucket, scored, and was fouled. While Walton missed the free-throw, Cason Kersh didn’t miss his opportunity with 10 seconds left in the third as he drained a pair from the charity stripe to pull the Tigers to within seven points.
The Tigers chipped away at the lead until 5:45 left in the game when Amari Cowan stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup to take the lead, 43-42. Cowan was fouled on the play, and hit the foul shot to make it a two-point lead, 44-42.
On Springville’s next possession, Derek Moore hit one of two free throws to push the lead to three. That didn’t last long, as Hewitt-Trussville’s Legion Gaston bombed a three-pointer to tie it up, 45-45.
Moore answered with a three of his own to retake the lead and smother the last gasp from the Huskies, who wouldn’t score again for the rest of the game.
Springville poured it on from there for the 17-point victory, outscoring Hewitt-Trussville by 24 points in the final frame.
“”I thought the game got really physical and we didn’t respond as well as they did,” said Hewitt-Trussville head coach Jeff Baker. “They were the tougher team down the stretch. Hats off to them. They were just the tougher team when it mattered the most. We’ve got to learn from it and get better.”
Kersh led all scorers with 13, while Moore had 12 for the Tigers. Ty Harrison added 9 for Springville.
Gaston led Hewitt-Trussville with 10, while Reid Stodghilll and Karnell Smith each had 9.