Vincent tops Woodland to clinch return trip to region tournament

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Vincent High School boys’ basketball coach John Hadder quickly turned his attention toward the upcoming Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 2A Northeast Region tournament following the Yellow Jackets’ 83-40 win over visiting Woodland in a Class 2A sub-region contest Feb. 18.

Hadder believes the Yellow Jackets, who have seen their season end with a loss in the Northeast Region semifinals the past two seasons, are ready to take the next step and record a win at Pete Mathews Coliseum on the Jacksonville State University campus.

Vincent will meet a familiar foe in the Class 2A Northeast Region semifinals Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m. in Section, which handed the Yellow Jackets a season-ending loss a year ago.

“It’s the same group we played last year,” Hadder said. “They bring everybody back. We’re fairly familiar with them.”

Bruce Hamilton led the Yellow Jackets (24-6) with 23 points in the sub-region victory against Woodland. Hamilton, who also grabbed 12 rebounds to finish with a double-double, finished with three steals and two blocked shots.

Keyon Wallace added 19 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Wallace surpassed the 1,000-rebound mark in his career in the sub-region victory.

Anterio Rogers chipped in 16 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists in the victory.

Vincent raced out to a 35-5 lead after the opening quarter and led by double digits throughout the contest.

Hadder said his team won’t be satisfied with an empty trip to Jacksonville for the third season in a row.

“We’ve accomplished a lot, but I don’t think this group will be happy unless we do something in the region tournament,” Hadder said. “It’s been a stumbling block for us.”

Hadder said the Yellow Jackets won’t be nervous in the Northeast Region semifinal contest against Section with two trips to the region tournament on their resume.

“I definitely think that helps with our guys this year,” Hadder said. “I think they’ve just tried to hurry up and get through the season to get back to the region tournament.”