Madison leads Wildcats past Pelham

Shelby County's Emmanuel Hall scored two of his 12 points in the Wildcats' 72-68 win over Pelham in the semifinals of the Shelby County tournament at Shelby County High School Dec. 21. (Reporter photo/Mickel Ponthieux)

By MICKEL PONTHIEUX / Sports Reporter

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County’s Tyler Madison scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Wildcats past the Pelham Panthers 72-68 in the semifinals of the Shelby County tournament Dec. 21 at Shelby County High School.

Both teams battled for control of the tournament semifinal, as there were a total of six ties and seven lead changes in the game.

Shelby County took a 29-25 lead after the first half of play, but the Panthers went on a 7-3 run to even the game 32-32 two minutes into the third quarter.

Pelham extended their lead to six, 40-34, before Madison began to close the gap. The Shelby County senior scored five unanswered points and Justus Martin followed with a 3-pointer to for a 43-42 Pelham lead.

Madison gave the Wildcats a 45-43 by converting on a three-point play, but Justin Brooks hit a shot from beyond half-court to give the Panthers a 46-45 edge headed into the fourth quarter.

Brooks added a shot from beyond the arch in the fourth to give Pelham a 54-49 lead with over five minutes remaining.

Madison guided Shelby County back into the game by hitting a pair of free throws, and then converted on a three-point play to tie the game 54-54 with 4:37 left.

Kenny Meadows regained the lead for Pelham, 56-54, but Madison answered back with a three and a field goal to give the Wildcats a 59-56 lead.

Shelby County would hold on to the advantage for the rest of the game. Pelham pulled within four in the final minute, but the Wildcats went 6-for-7 from the free throw line to seal the win.

Madison easily led all scorers with 42 points for Shelby County. Emmanuel Hall added 12 points and Brandon McKinney added 10 points for the Wildcats.

Brooks led the Panthers with 18 points while Dakota Clark scored 16 points. Meadows finished with 13 points.

Shelby County will face Thompson, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, in the boys’ championship game Dec. 22 at the University of Montevallo at 6 p.m.