Vincent boys take area championship

Vincent's Cornell Bonner drives to the basket in an early seaosn matchup with Shelby County. The Yellow Jackets used a comeback to take the AHSAA Class 2A, Area 13 championship over Holy Family Cristo Rey Feb. 10. (FILE)

Vincent’s Cornell Bonner drives to the basket in an early seaosn matchup with Shelby County. The Yellow Jackets used a comeback to take the AHSAA Class 2A, Area 13 championship over Holy Family Cristo Rey Feb. 10. (FILE)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

It’s safe to say that the Vincent Yellow Jackets boys basketball team has established itself as a premier power in AHSAA Class 2A basketball.

With a 55-52 victory over Holy Family Cristo Rey High School, the Jackets clinched their seventh straight area championship, this time dominating the Class 2A, Area 13 field.

The Jackets punched their ticket in the championship game by shutting down Fultondale, 52-40, in the area semifinal to take on the Wildcats.

The contest was a back and forth affair, with the Yellow Jackets jumping out to a 14-9 lead on the Tornadoes in the first quarter. The second quarter saw the Holy Family Cristo Rey come back on the Yellow Jackets, outscoring Vincent 15-9 for the period. Despite a big first quarter, the Yellow Jackets found themselves down 24-23 headed into the half.

The Tornadoes picked up the tempo following intermission, using a 20-16 third quarter effort to extend the lead to 44-39 headed into the final period of play.

Despite trailing for 2/3 of the game, Vincent’s squad stepped up when needed most. The Jackets rose to life in the fourth quarter, dominating the Tornadoes in the final period, 16-8, to take the 55-52 win and the Area 13 championship.

Jamal McCrimmon led the Yellow Jackets with 20 points, six rebounds and four steals. He was joined in the effort by E.J. Datcher, who posted 13 points, eight rebounds and a steal and Jace Greene who had 10 points five rebounds and two steals.

The Jackets now move on to face Area 14 champ Lamar County in the sub-regional, held Feb. 14.