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PCHS splits with Phillips

The Phil Campbell Bobcats and Lady Bobcats split with the Phillips Bears and She-Bears Thursday night at Northwest-Shoals Community College.

The Bobcats fell to the Bears 62-58 despite making a late comeback effort in the nightcap, and the Lady Bobcats easily defeated the She-Bears 60-34.

Phil Campbell and Phillips traded blows in the opening round of the varsity boys’ contest.

The Bears were up 4-0 before the Bobcats got on the board, but Phil Campbell tied the game at 6-6 by the midpoint of the first quarter.

Phillips had a 12-8 advantage towards the end of the first quarter, but Phil Campbell went on an 8-0 run to end the opening period strong and take a 16-12 advantage.

The second quarter, however, would prove to be the Bears’ best of the game.

The team scored 20 points while only allowing the Bobcats four. This gave Phillips a 32-20 halftime lead and the largest advantage of the game to that point.

“I don’t know how to stop the other team from making runs when we have the lead,” Phil Campbell head coach Will Copeland said. “It’s my fault. We just don’t have the grit to keep playing hard when we have the lead and the other team goes on a run. We don’t stop them.”

Things continued to go in favor of the Bears for the opening half of the third quarter.

Phillips continued to grow its lead, which eventually grew to 19 points at 44-25.

From that point on, however, the Bobcats would outscore their opponent 33-18. Phil Campbell started the comeback just past the halfway point of the third.

The Bobcats had a 9-0 run before giving up another point to Phillips. The 20-point deficit was down to 14 by the end of the third.

Phil Campbell kept firing away in the opening minutes of the fourth and final quarter, this time going on a 7-0 run.

The Bobcats narrowed the 20-point gap to just six in the early goings of the fourth period, but Phillips would hang on to their early advantage until the end.

The Bobcats remained behind throughout the fourth, but never by more than 10 after cutting the Bears’ lead to six.

Phil Campbell battled until the final buzzer, but Phillips hit their free throws late and managed to stay ahead, ending up with just a four-point victory.

“I’m proud of them for battling back, but we’ve got to fix the problems that got us down 19 in the first place,” Copeland said. “We’ve got to play as hard as we can for four quarters.”

Cameron Harris and Colton Vickery tied at 14 points apiece in the contest, which led the Bobcats in scoring on the night.

Skeeter Benford added 11 and Hayden Bell totaled 8. Also scoring for Phil Campbell were: Jamie Dorroh (5), Brady Whitten (4) and Austin Jones (2).

The matchup between the Lady Bobcats and She-Bears that opened up the night was nowhere near as close as the boys’ varsity game turned out to be.

Phil Campbell scored early and often, and the Lady Bobcats’ offense had produced 22 points in the first quarter alone while defensive play held the She-Bears to just nine.

The Lady Bobcats again outscored their opponent in the second quarter with 14, with the She-Bears managing only eight points.

This gave Phil Campbell a 36-17 advantage at the break. The 19-point lead put the Lady Bobcats in easy striking distance of a 30-point lead in the fourth quarter, which would force a running clock for the final eight minutes.

“We hit some shots tonight,” Phil Campbell head coach Darit Riddle said. “I’m proud of them. We play Danville tomorrow (Friday) night, and we have area games against Red Bay and Colbert Heights coming up.”

Phillips would have a slightly better quarter of play in the third, but the She-Bears were never in the contest after the deficit in the first period.

The Lady Bobcats had managed to just pick up the 30-point lead by the start of the fourth quarter, and each of the final eight minutes was played with a running clock, despite the fact that the She-Bears did narrow the gap back down to less than 30.

In the end it was Phil Campbell who came away with the 26-point win.

Hope Cook led the Lady Bobcats in scoring on the night with 23, more than one-third of Phil Campbell’s total.

Autumn Thomas had 10 and Vickie McAlister added 8. Also scoring for the Lady Bobcats were: Tori Pace (6), Ashley Baker (5), Madison Hardy (4), Kaylie Ayers (2) and Kaitlyn Vickery (2).