Pelham takes nail biter over Vestavia HillsPublished 12:43am Friday, January 3, 2014
BY DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
HOMEWOOD — The Pelham Panthers boys basketball team eked out a close on Jan. 2, as the Panthers took down Vestavia Hills, 45-42 in the opening round of the Homewood High Metro Tournament.
In what was mostly a defensive struggle, the Panthers battled back and forth all game with the Rebels. The opening quarter saw Pelham open up the game with a big 3-pointer form Zach Allison to put the squad up 3-2. The Rebels took a 6-3 lead, but Pelham worked its way to a 9-6 lead courtesy of baskets by Zach Morton, John Brown and Dakota Clark. Vestavia was able to close the gap, but at the end of the first quarter the Panthers led, 13-8.
Vestavia Hills opened the second quarter with a 9-5 run to take an 18-17 lead. A huge three by Alex Reese put the Panthers back on top, and another Reese basket padded the lead. Vestavia tied the game at 22-22, but two Jon Brown free throws gave Pelham a 24-22 lead at the half.
After the half, the Rebels came out shooting, jumping out to a 30-25 lead. Brown and Clark helped work the Panthers back into the game, and Pelham took a 32-30 lead on a Moregan Sharp basket.
Pelham fell behind again at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Rebels nailed a three to go up 35-32. The Panthers again relied on Clark, who gave the Panthers the lead with a basket and follow up free throw at 41-38 late in the fourth. Despite a late push by Vestavia Hills, Pelham held on to take the 45-42 win.
Clark finished with 21 points, while R.J. McCall had seven and Allison posted six.