Chilton County boys win thriller over Calera
By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter
CALERA — In terms of pure excitement, the Feb. 4 varsity boys basketball showdown between Calera and visiting Chilton County featured a fourth quarter that elevated above the call of duty.
It was a borderline-epic back-and-forth final period of fiery, never-say-die competitiveness, with Chilton County ultimately savoring the sweetness of a 66-62 victory and Calera swallowing the bitter pill of defeat.
With Calera clinging to a 49-47 lead as the fourth quarter began, the teams virtually traded baskets until Chilton County’s Jacob Hatch hit a 3-pointer that knotted the score at 58.
During the ensuing possession Chilton County’s Mitchell Parker authoritatively blocked a Jordan Bishop shot. The swat sailed to around half-court, where Parker’s teammate Davre Williams grabbed the ball and drove in for a layup that put the Tigers on top by two.
After a Bishop free throw closed the gap to 60-59, Williams scored again to put Chilton County up by three, in the process drawing a foul from the Eagles’ Tyler Harrell. It was Harrell’s fifth of the game and the senior fouled out with 40.6 seconds remaining.
Following the missed free throw by Williams, Calera’s Ronnie Clark drained a 3-pointer to tie the contest at 62 and compelled Chilton County head coach Cain Young to take a timeout. On the Tigers’ possession Parker gathered a pass down low, banked in a bucket and drew a foul. His subsequent free throw extended Chilton County’s lead to 65-62 with 2.8 seconds remaining.
With 1.3 seconds left, Williams sank a free throw of his own to cement the win.
“We got down there (and) he (Clark) hit the (3-pointer to tie the game) and nobody (for the Tigers) pouted,” said Young. “(My players) said let’s go, let’s find a way to win it. Nobody was hanging their heads in the timeout. They all came out and (said) let’s find a way to score and win the game right here.”
And get the win they did, prompting praise from the opposition.
“Chilton County is coached by a very good coach,” Calera head coach George Drake said. “He coaches his guys just to continue to play, (to) play hard. They did the things they needed to do on the road to win. We knew that they were a good team. They beat us at their place. We didn’t take (them) lightly.
“They were the better team tonight and they did some things and made some shots and they came out on top.”
For Calera, Ronnie Clark recorded a team-high 18 points to pair with six rebounds. Jordan Bishop tallied 13 points and six rebounds while Tyler Harrell had six points and 11 rebounds.
Keddrick Thomas added eight points in the losing cause.
Davre Williams led Chilton County with a game-high 21 points as Austin Hatch had 13. Mitchell Parker provided 12 points while Raquaez Cora collected 10 in the winning effort.