Calera boys win scoring battle over Jemison

Calera's Tyler Harrell goes up for a momentum-changing dunk in a Jan. 21 contest with Jemison. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Calera’s Tyler Harrell goes up for a momentum-changing dunk in a Jan. 21 contest with Jemison. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

CALERA — In the pantheon of fast-paced, high-energy, back-and-forth battles between intra-area adversaries, the Jan. 21 matchup of Jemison and Calera delivered an Academy Award-caliber performance.

A turning point came in the fourth quarter on a play served with gusto courtesy of Calera’s Tyler Harrell. Harrell snagged a steal around halfcourt, took the ball the remainder of the way and hammered home a dunk that put the Eagles up 51-50.

The home team never relinquished the lead on its way to a 62-58 win against its AHSAA Class 4A Area 7 foe in varsity boys basketball.

“That was a big-time play for Tyler Harrell and for our team, said Calera head coach George Drake. “It was a big momentum booster. It was a change in the game’s momentum. He takes off and he dunks one and it just gets the crowd into it more. It just kind of set the tone for the rest of that game.”

From the opening tipoff to the final buzzer, both teams played with fierce determination, and that dual aggression helped translate to a more-than-moderate amount of lead changes and an overall fair share of flair. And maybe no better an indication of the contest’s excitement goes back to the opening period.

After four lead changes and with the game tied 12-12, Keddrick Thomas sank a basket at the buzzer to put Calera on top heading into the second quarter. Jemison then replicated that when the Panthers scored as time expired in the half to take a 29-27 advantage into intermission.

That pair of plays was symbolic of the overall quality of an all-out battle involving two teams steadfastly determined to upend the other, with Calera ultimately taking the very important win.

“It was an area game,” Drake said. “You want to take care of your area games for sure. Another thing (is) you want to take care of home. We were at home tonight and you always want to (win at) home and do the things you’re supposed to do.”

Chasen Baker led Calera (12-8, 3-2 in Area 7) with 16 points. Jordan Bishop tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds, Ronnie Clark added 11 points and Tyler Harrell had five points and six rebounds in the win.

Randy Satterfield paced Jemision with 19 points.