Vincent tops Holy Family in area final

By BRAD GASKINS / Staff Writer

VINCENT – The Vincent High School boys’ basketball team beat visiting Holy Family 62-58 on Feb. 14 to capture the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A, Area 10 tournament championship.

“Well, it wasn’t pretty,” Vincent coach John Hadder said.

Still, the win advances Vincent (23-6) to play host to a Class 2A sub-region game Feb. 18 against Woodland.

“It always helps to host,” Hadder said. “We feel comfortable here.”

Vincent led 23-9 at the end of the first quarter but was outscored 17-4 in the second quarter. Holy Family finished the half on a 12-0 run, and Vincent led 27-26 at halftime.

“We played with a lot of emotion and started out fast,” Hadder said. “Once that wore off and the game settled down, it got physical. They took it to us there for a while.”

Vincent senior Keyon Wallace said his team “got a little too comfortable” in the second quarter.

“I really wasn’t too nervous,” Wallace said. “We have a really young team, so I had to pick them up.”

Hadder challenged Vincent to “man up” in the second half.

“They (Holy Family) were being physical, and we kind of felt like we were being pushed around,” he said.

Holy Family took a one-point lead to start the third quarter, but a free-throw by Wallace and two-point shot from by Ben McKinney put Vincent ahead 30-28. Vincent led the rest of the third quarter and entered the fourth quarter leading 44-42.

Holy Family tied the game at the start of the fourth quarter, and the lead changed hands nine times throughout the quarter.

Vincent tied the game at 56-56 on a basket from Bruce Hamilton with 1:34 to play and took the lead for good on a layup from McKinney with 1:10 to play.

Vincent made 4 of 8 free-throws in the final 54 seconds to secure the win.

“We pulled it out at the end. We fought real hard,” said Wallace, who was named tournament MVP. “That’s what it boils down to. We didn’t play perfect.”

Wallace finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks and six assists. He was joined on the all-tournament team by Hamilton and Anterio Rogers.

Hamilton scored a team-high 17 points, team-high 13 rebounds and three assists. Rogers scored 11 points.

Dontravious Moon had seven points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. McKinney had 12 points.