Vincent advances to regional tourney with win over Woodland

The final score of Vincent’s boys’ basketball sub-regional game in the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs with visiting Woodland doesn’t tell the whole story.

The Yellow Jackets’ ended up with an 82-50 win over Woodland in the Class 2A sub-regional contest, but Vincent coach John Hadder couldn’t rest until the fourth quarter.

That’s when his Yellow Jackets outscored their opponent 33-10 to close out a 32-point victory, which sends Vincent to the Northeast Regional tournament at Jacksonville State University.

“It was a tight game there for a while,” Hadder said.

Juwan Rogers led Vincent (22-7) with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Ben McKinney added 15 points and seven boards. Anterio Rogers chipped in 15 points and Devanta Williams finished with 14 points.

Keyon Wallace nearly posted a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.

Vincent struggled for most of the first half, Hadder said. The Yellow Jackets trailed 16-14 after the first quarter and rallied in the second quarter to take a slim 33-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“We started off slow and came out a little tight,” Hadder said. “We weren’t really running our sets and we were shooting the ball too quickly.”

Vincent extended its lead to 49-40 by the end of the third quarter before running away from Woodland in the final eight minutes of the game. Hadder said the Yellow Jackets were much more steady in the second half.

“We relaxed a little bit in the second half,” Hadder said. “We defended a little bit better and we settled down in our offense.”

Vincent will now face Section in the semifinals of the Northeast Regional tournament Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the Jacksonville State University campus.

Hadder, who is in his first year as the Vincent boys’ coach after previously guiding the girls’ team, said the Yellow Jackets are excited about a return trip to the Northeast Regional. Vincent was one-and-done in last season’s trip to Jacksonville, which Hadder said is a source of motivation for the Yellow Jackets.

“Honestly, we didn’t make it a goal,” Hadder said. “We just wanted to play consistently every night. But I know they wanted to get back,” Hadder said. “It’s satisfying to get there, but our guys want more.”