Montevallo topples Jemison at home

Montevallo's Antwain Cunningham battles with defenders in a Nov. 19 win over Jemison. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Montevallo’s Antwain Cunningham battles with defenders in a Nov. 19 win over Jemison. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

MONTEVALLO — The Montevallo Bulldogs boys’ basketball team used great perimeter shooting and strong defense to take a 50-32 win over the Jemison Panthers on Nov. 19.

The two squads went back-and-forth early, swapping the ball in a defensive battle for most of the first quarter. At the end of the first period, the Dawgs saw themselves behind, as Jemison took a 9-7 lead.

Everything changed with the first basket of the second quarter, however, as Wyatt Allen sank a three from the corner to put Montevallo up 10-7. The Dawgs then went on a three-point frenzy, as Tae’ Smith followed Allen’s lead with a three of his own. Da’Jion Young followed suit and Smith sank another to put MHS up 19-11. Antwain Cunningham added four points to help the Dawgs take a 23-11 lead into the half.

Following the intermission, Montevallo came out firing again, as an alley oop dunk by Bobby Anderson riled up the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Young, Smith and Anderson took turns scoring, and the Dawgs led 32-12 midway through the third.

Not to be deterred, Jemison went on a run of it’s own, out scoring Montevallo 11-2 down the stretch to cut the lead to 34-23 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs again relied on a big play to begin the fourth quarter, this time when Smith sank a three to put MHS up 37-23.

With the Dawgs in bonus, the fourth quarter became a free throw shooting contest, as Cunningham, Smith, Anderson and Cortez Williams all went to the line early in the quarter. What began as an 11-point lead quickly grew into a 20 point lead, as Montevallo’s strong free throw shooting put it up 44-24 midway through the fourth.

Despite a push toward the end of the game, Jemison could not surmount a comeback, falling 50-32.

“We played hard,” said MHS head coach Greg Dickinson. “We mixed our defense up, and executed. We played a lot more patient that we did last game.”

Smith led Montevallo with 16 points (including four three pointers), four rebounds and three steals, while Cunningham had 13 points, two rebounds, four assists and four steals. Anderson finished with nine points, five rebounds and two blocks.