By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
SPRINGVILLE – All year, Leeds has had Moody’s number on the basketball court, beating them the last 3 times these teams have met. Moody looked to avenge the loss on Tuesday night in 5A Area 11 tournament action at Springville High School. The first half of the game was a bit of a fight with Moody threatening to run away with it at times, but Leeds would not go away. Jeremiah Millington’s boys fought to the end, even having a spectacular fourth quarter, but it would not be enough on this night as Moody was determined to get to the area championship game and did just that with a 65-54 win over Leeds.
Moody came out in the first quarter and scored 18 points against the Green Wave while allowing Leeds to put up just 11. Moody would be led by the red-hot Caden Helms, who had half the points for the Blue Devils in the quarter with 9. Davion Dozier would add 7 points for Moody as well. Leeds would be led in the first by Chris Burge with 4 points followed by Ronald Miller with 3.
In the second, Leeds would play great defense, holding Moody to just 11 points and keeping Helms in check with just 2 points in the period. However, Moody’s Kolby Seymour would score the majority of their points with 7 in the quarter. Leeds was led by Burge once again, who had another 4-point quarter. Ky Jones added a three-pointer to go with a trio of Green Wave scorers (Gavin Bowlin, Ronald Miller and Jabari Davis) who added 2 points each. Moody would head into the halftime break with a 29-24 lead over Leeds.
Moody would come out of the locker room looking to put distance between them and the Green Wave and they would accomplish that feat by outscoring them 21-7 in the third quarter. Burge would lead the Green Wave again, this time with 3 points, to go with 2 from Bowlin and Jones respectively. Aden Johnson led Moody with 6 points on 2 three-pointers to go with 5 each from Seymour and Helms in the high-scoring period. Moody would extend their lead to 19 heading into the fourth quarter by a score of 50-31 and they could taste the championship game at this point.
Leeds did all they could on the offensive side of the ball to pull out the win, scoring a game-high 23 points in the final period of play. But Moody would have a pretty good quarter as well, scoring 15 and punching their ticket to the area finals. In the spectacular effort by the Green Wave in the fourth, Jabari Davis scored 14 points. Darrian Burden added 6 points to help his team as well. Moody’s Chase Jackson would lead the Blue Devils for the quarter with 5 points to go with 4 from Dozier.
On the night, Leeds was led in scoring by Jabari Davis, who had 18 total on the night, and Chris Burge, who added 14.
Moody was led by Caden Helms with 17, Colby Seymour with 13 and Davion Dozier with 13 as well.
“It was a tough, physical game. Coach Millington’s teams always give us problems,” said Moody Coach Chad Bates. “Total team win for us. Caden hit some tough shots for us. Davion made plays on both ends. Kolby and Aden hit big time three’s for us and Carson (Dillashaw) took two charges that really energized us. I am proud of this team for making the playoffs for the third year in a row. We obviously have things we can work on to improve and keep the season going.”
Moody will now play Springville in the finals of the tournament on Friday night at Springville. Moody and Springville split the regular season games this year with each team getting a win in the rivalry in 2022. Moody topped the Tigers in the Saint Clair County Tournament in their last meeting.