Bobcats pull away with big 2nd half

By Staff
Mike Self, FCT Sports Editor
BELGREEN – For the second straight game, the Phil Campbell Bobcats stumbled out of the gate on Thursday.
This time, however, they were able to recover.
The Bobcats used a key defensive adjustment and some hot second-half shooting by Tanner Maddox to blow open a close game en route to a 54-30 victory over county rival Belgreen.
Phil Campbell (1-1) got off to a very slow start, missing five free throws and a handful of layups in the early going as Belgreen (1-1) led 9-8 after one quarter.
"I'm worried about [the way we're starting games]," said Bobcat coach Gary Odom, whose team fell into a 13-0 hole Tuesday night at Haleyville and ended up losing 62-51. "We may have to take these guys outside before the game and run them around the street a little bit just to get them loose. We can't afford to keep starting slow like this."
Jonathan Dill hit a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter, helping Phil Campbell take a 21-17 lead into the half.
The Bobcats then ditched their man-to-man defense in favor of a zone, helping spark a big third-quarter run.
Maddox nailed two threes as part of a 12-1 spurt to open the second half, and Phil Campbell out-scored Belgreen 17-3 in the third quarter to open up an 18-point lead.
Maddox added two more treys in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 14 points as the Bobcats continued to pull away.
"Tanner really helped us by knocking down those outside shots in the second half, and changing defenses seemed to make a difference, too," Odom said. "Playing man-to-man is supposed to speed the game up, but for some reason it seemed like it slowed the game down in the first half. We went to the zone, and it was effective for us."
Chris Baker added 11 points for the Phil Campbell, and Dill and Jay Steward each finished with eight.
Kyle Warren led Belgreen with eight points, and Shane Fretwell added seven. Marty Britton had five, and Lucas Albert and Brent Newell each finished with four.