Rebels move closer to area championship with win over Chargers

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA — First-year Coosa Valley Academy boys’ basketball coach Wade Hyde had a couple of dates circled on the schedule when he took the job during the offseason.

Hyde knew the importance of two regular season dates against rival Cornerstone Christian School, which owned a lengthy winning streak in the series between the two schools.

Hyde and the Rebels put an end to the Chargers’ winning streak following a 65-58 win over their rivals Jan. 21 in an Alabama Independent Schools Association Class 1A, Region 2 — Area 1 contest. Coosa Valley can clinch the Area 1 championship outright with a victory over Cornerstone on Jan. 24.

“It feels great,” Hyde said. “I finally know how it feels to beat Cornerstone.”

John Bullen led Coosa Valley (8-10 overall, 5-0 in AISA Class 1A, Region 2 — Area 1) with 21 points.

Sam Bullard added 16 points. Steven Cryer chipped in 14 points. Daniel Kennedy contributed 10 points. Hunter Winslett finished with four points.

Kendall Moore led Cornerstone (4-9 overall, 4-1 in AISA Class 1A, Region 2 — Area 1) with a game-high 33 points, including 21 points in the opening half.

Sterling Reither added nine points. Chase Payne contributed six points.

Clayton Halbert chipped in four points. Hagan Joiner and Griffin Moore finished with three points each.

Moore caught fire early and scored three of the game’s first five baskets to help the Chargers jump out to a 14-6 lead early in the first quarter. Bullen capped an 8-0 run by Coosa Valley to help the Chargers tie the game at 14-14 before the end of the opening period.

The Rebels took the lead early in the second quarter and held their biggest advantage in the first half, at 30-26, with 1:05 remaining in the second quarter following a jumper by Cryer. Moore nailed a 3-pointer in the final minute to cut the Rebels’ lead to 32-21 heading into the locker room at halftime.

Moore scored two baskets early in the third quarter to help Cornerstone take a 37-34 lead early in the second half before the Rebels took the lead for good.

Bullen scored a basket late in the third quarter to give the Rebels their largest lead in the period at 48-43.

Cornerstone tied the game at 48-48 following a basket by Moore early in the fourth quarter before the Rebels finished the game with a 17-10 run.