Phil Campbell, Red Bay boys bring home tournament titles

By Staff
Mike Self, FCT Sports Editor
PHIL CAMPBELL – Seth Brown had 13 points and helped spark a big second-quarter run on Tuesday as Phil Campbell's A-Junior boys clinched the Franklin County Tournament championship with a 39-21 win over Tharptown.
"I told these boys before the season started that I thought we could win the county," Phil Campbell coach David Willis said. "I knew what kind of athletes we had. This is a great group of kids, and I'm proud to have been their coach."
The Bobcats were leading 15-8 early in the second quarter when a three-point play by Brown triggered a 12-0 run to close the first half.
A basket by Austin Nix made it 20-8, and Lawrence Butts followed with a three-pointer. Brown then made two free throws, and Bailey Welborn capped the run with a layup to give Phil Campbell a 27-8 lead at the half.
"We weren't taking advantage of our size early on, but then we started getting the ball into our post players," Willis said. "We were able to get a few good layups, and that seemed to get us going."
Defensively, the Bobcats held Tharptown, which had scored 57 points in Saturday's semifinal win over Vina, to just two field goals in the first half.
"We had been playing a zone defense pretty much all year, and the last three games we switched to a man-to-man," Willis said. "That really helped us become a better defensive team."
Austin Nix finished with eight points for Phil Campbell, which led 33-14 at the end of the third quarter. Butts added seven, and Welborn had six.
Jacob Parker led Tharptown with eight points.
In other action at the tournament:
B-Junior boys
Red Bay 47 East Franklin 30
Cody Reynolds had 23 points on Tuesday as Red Bay won its third B-Junior boys title in the past four years.
The Tigers (12-5) led 7-5 after one quarter and 23-15 at halftime. Reynolds scored 16 points in the second half as Red Bay pulled away.
"We started out a little slow," Red Bay coach Kevin Morrow said. "I think our guys might have been a little jittery at first, and we were settling for long jump shots. Ben Hubbard hit a shot for us, and I think that settled us down.
"We started knocking down some more shots, and then Cody really went to work in the paint."
The Tigers' defensive strategy focused on containing East Franklin's Jordan Benford, who had given Red Bay problems in three previous meetings.
"We went to a diamond-and-one defense on Benford, because he had averaged about 20 points against us in the first three games. He's a really good player, and he can fill up the scoreboard in a hurry. He ended up with 16 points tonight, but most of those came from the foul line. I thought we did a pretty good job defending him and making him work for what he got."
Kevin Hastings and Matt Montgomery each added six points for Red Bay. Benford led the Rebels with 16 points, and Rick Miller added seven.
"Our kids got after it on defense and executed on offense," Morrow said. "Fortunately, we were able to come out on top."