Fast start earns Belgreen county championship
By Bart Moss for the FCT
Belgreen Coach Clint Isbell couldn’t ask for a better start to a Franklin County Championship game than the one his team delivered Saturday night at Vina High School. The Bulldogs blew past the Phil Campbell Bobcats in an explosive first quarter, missing only two shots from the field to go on to win 73-52.
“All 12 of our guys came to play tonight,” said Isbell. “They played hard and played to win. You could sense the enthusiasm early on. I am really proud of how hard they played tonight.”
Belgreen jumped on the Bobcats early, taking an 11-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Belgreen led 17-2 with 3:40 to go in the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs had built a massive 30-4 lead.
“We were about as hot as you could get,” said Isbell. “The hardest part after a run like that is keeping the team’s focus.”
Phil Campbell trimmed Belgreen’s lead slightly in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-14 to give Isbell’s team a 44-23 halftime lead. The Bobcats kept coming at the Bulldogs, cutting the lead to 54-36 at the end of the period. The game really started to become interesting in the fourth quarter, as the Bobcats just kept cutting into the Bulldogs’ lead. Phil Campbell made a run late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, cutting Belgreen’s lead to 13 on a Peyton Thomas layup with 6:40 left in the game.
That was a close as the Bobcats would get. Belgreen would hang on to the lead by hitting 15-of-20 free throws in the fourth quarter to secure the championship victory.
“It’s hard to beat a good team three times,” said Phil Campbell Coach Brett Thomas. “We have played really well against them in our previous games, but tonight we just didn’t do anything right. There is not a lot of good I can say about tonight’s game.
“You especially can’t dig yourself a 30-point hole,” Thomas added. “We made a run late, but it was just too much to overcome.”
Mason Bragwell led Belgreen with 21 points, ten of which came in the first quarter. Jacob Mayberry followed with 15 points, eight of which came in the first quarter scoring outburst. Seth Taylor added nine points, Payton Scott seven points, and Brant Bragwell had six points. Adam Green, Grayson Moore, and Joseph Welch finished with four points each. Eli Hiser contributed three points.
Gage Roberson led Phil Campbell with 17 points. Peyton Thomas and Hayden Copeland added 12 points and ten points respectively. Brody Nix had four points and Joe Hardy three points. Jacob Mayberry, Rhett Benford and Thomas Baker finished with two points each.
Phil Campbell 63, Tharptown 59
The Phil Campbell Bobcats made 20-of-26 free throws to hold off the Tharptown Wildcats and a career night from Mikey Rosson to advance to the finals of the Franklin County Tournament to face Belgreen.
Rosson, who didn’t score in the first quarter, rolled off 28 points in the three remaining quarters as the Wildcats battled the Bobcats to the end.
Phil Campbell led Tharptown 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams played even in the second quarter, scoring 15 points each give Phil Campbell a 29-26 halftime advantage. Tharptown grabbed the lead in the third quarter, outscoring Phil Campbell 21-12 to give the Wildcats a 47-41 advantage heading into the final quarter. The Bobcats mounted a big comeback in the fourth quarter, outscoring Tharptown 22-12 get the win.
Thomas Baker led Phil Campbell with 14 points. He was followed by Peyton Thomas and Rhett Benford, who scored 11 points and ten points respectively. Jacob Anthony added nine points, Hayden Copeland had eight points, Gage Roberson finished with six points, Brody Nix had three points, and Joe Hardy added one point.
Following Rosson’s 28-point performance was Levi McCormack with 13 points. Cole Daniel added nine points, Matt Hall six points and Braden Key three points.
Belgreen 60, Red Bay 45
The Red Bay Tigers have won only one game this season. The silver lining in the cloud for Tiger Coach Jon Torisky is that he has a very young team, and they have been in the game against some very good teams, including Thursday night’s match-up with top seed Belgreen.
The Bulldogs led the Tigers by just four points, 15-11, at the end of the first quarter and by five points, 29-24, at halftime. Belgreen was able to get some breathing room in the third quarter, outscoring Red Bay 16-10 to take a 45-34 lead. The Bulldogs put the game away in fourth quarter.
Mason Bragwell led Belgreen with 20 points. Jacob Mayberry followed with 16 points. Brant Bragwell and Seth Taylor scored seven points each, and Eli Hiser had three points. Adam Green, Grayson Moore and Joseph Welch scored two points each. Logan Seay added one point.
Colton Corum and Gath Weatherford led the way for Red Bay with 16 points each. Levi McNatt added five points, Peyton Green had four points, and Aaron Moore and Hunter Bays had two points each.
Red Bay 56, Vina 51
The young Red Bay Tigers scratched and clawed their way to their first win of the season in the first round of the Franklin County Tournament, defeating Vina 56-51. Red Bay advanced to semifinal to play the Belgreen Bulldogs.
Red Bay jumped out to a 15-10 lead over the Vina Red Devils in the first quarter. Vina was able to tie the game in the second quarter, outscoring Red Bay 17-12 to make the score 27-27 at halftime. Red Bay grabbed a slight lead in the third quarter, outscoring Vina 13-10 to make the score 40-37. The Tigers outpaced Vina down the stretch 16-14 to claim the win.
Levi McNatt led Red Bay with 18 points. He was followed by Colton Corum with 12 points. Peyton Green and Gath Weatherford scored seven points each; Hunter Bays had five points; Aeron Moore finished with three points; and Noah Brewer and Ethan Pierce netted two points each.
Vina had three players in double figures, with Corbin Triplett leading the way with 14 points. He was followed by Clay Allison with 13 points and Blake Harding with ten points. Tyler Renfrow scored seven points; Andrew Upton had three points; and James Barnes and Austin Harper scored two points each for the Red Devils.