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PC hoops get off to winning start

By Bart Moss for the FCT


The Phil Campbell Bobcat basketball teams got off two big wins to start the 2015-16 season over Shoals Christian Nov. 13. The varsity girls won 52-30, and the varsity boys won 67-31.

The Lady Bobcats out-paced the Flame in the first quarter 15-9 and 20-8 in the second quarter, taking a 35-17 lead into the locker room. Phil Campbell extended the lead to 50-23 at the end of the third quarter and coasted to the win.

Freshman Abby Davis led the way for the Bobcats with 23 points. Darby Elliot scored nine points, Elizabeth Benford added eight points and Chloe Roberson scored six points. Leah Gunderman, Harley Voyles, and Carley Nix scored two points each for Phil Campbell.

“It was a good first game for us and a good win,” said Phil Campbell Coach Craig Thomas. “It is great to get the season started on a positive note.”

The varsity boys also earned an easy season-opening win over Shoals Christian, 67-31. The Bobcats scored in double digits in all four quarter and held the Flame to single digits in each quarter. Phil Campbell opened the game with a 16-9 first quarter advantage, extending the lead to 37-18 at the half. The Bobcat stayed strong in the third quarter, increasing their lead to 54-24 before coasting to the win.

Noah Williams and Hayden Copeland led the Bobcats with 25 and 22 points, respectively.  Also scoring for Phil Campbell were Grant Masterson (8), Gage Roberson (7), Blake Jones (4) and Andrew Pennington (1).

“I was really proud to see our guys storm out of the gate like this,” said second-year Phil Campbell coach Brett Thomas. “We couldn’t have asked for a better first game.”

Winning didn’t stop there. The Phil Campbell Bobcats travelled across the state line into Mississippi to get a couple of wins Nov. 21.

The varsity girls won a squeaker at Mantachie, Miss., 46-43. The Lady Bobcats led 10-8 at the end of the first quarter, but Mantachie closed the gap to one point at the half, 24-23. Phil Campbell was able to extend the Bobcats’ lead in the third quarter to 35-31. Mantachie outscored the Bobcats 13-11 in the fourth quarter, but Phil Campbell was able to hang on for the win.

The Lady Bobcats had three players in double figures: Roberson (15), Benford (12) and Davis (10). Gunderman and Nix rounded out the scoring for the Bobcats, netting five points and four points, respectively.

“This is a good win for us,” said Thomas. “Mississippi has a great tradition of powerful girls’ basketball teams. So far, this is the closest game we’ve had, and we needed it. We faced some adversity and were able to get the win.”

The varsity boys continued to score a lot of points as they jumped out to a 21-7 first quarter lead over Mantachie. They extended their lead to 40-22 by halftime. The Bobcats cooled off in the second half but were still able to hold on for the win despite being outscored 29-20 in the second half.

Copeland and Williams led the Bobcats with 18 points and 17 points, respectively. Others scoring for Phil Campbell were Roberson (9), Masterson (8), Jones (8) and Rhett Benford (4).

“I think we are playing well right now,” said Thomas. “We are scoring a lot of points, and we are really getting after it and hustling. We just want to keep improving.”