Pelham wins thrilling game against Oak Mountain
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
PELHAM – Three nights after dropping 31 points to join the 1,000-point club, Pelham’s Justin Allison was back at it again on Thursday, Nov. 16, as he dropped 31 more points to lead the Panthers to a 58-54 win over visiting Oak Mountain.
Through two games of the season, Allison now has 62 total points as the Panthers sit at 1-1 after their home opener.
“He carried us again,” Pelham head coach Joel Floyd said. “He just made big tough shots, but what I was most impressed with is that he really tried to work on starting to share the ball with his teammates, which is something we worked on.”
It also marked the first game of the season for the Oak Mountain Eagles, and the rust was evident. A big difference in the game was the foul trouble for Oak Mountain’s Chris Mayweather, who is expected to be a big contributor on both ends of the floor this season.
After Carson Bobo found Christian Stockdill in the post for the first points of the game, the Eagles held a 2-0 advantage, but Allison answered with a 3-pointer to give the Panthers the lead, one they wouldn’t lose the rest of the game.
Shortly after, Mayweather was called for charges on back-to-back possessions which gave him two fouls in less than 2:00 of action and forced him to the bench for the rest of the half.
Pelham took advantage as Allison went on to knock down two more deep balls on his way to 11 first-quarter points, which gave the Panthers a strong 16-11 advantage at the end of one.
The Panthers extended that lead to as many as 10 points in the second quarter when they found themselves up 28-18, before taking a 29-22 lead into the half.
Allison was 6-8 from the field and 4-6 from deep in the first half as his 16 points made up more than half of the team’s 29. Chris Brown also stepped up hitting 6-8 free throws in the half as he had eight points.
“Chris Brown came to play today,” Floyd said. “Didn’t have his best in the first one, but he played great today. He was undersized out there and worked his tail off.”
Mayweather’s absence was a clear difference maker in the first half for Oak Mountain, but he was back in the lineup to start the second and after his first shot he had three points thanks to knocking down an early deep ball to cut the Panthers’ lead to 31-27.
He helped the Eagles get a spark as they went on an 8-2 run to start the third quarter, eventually getting within two at 33-31 after a Bobo layup.
Shortly after, however, Mayweather picked up his third foul and was forced back to the bench. Drew Dunn and Allison got locked in a shooting contest after, which saw Allison hit a deep 3-pointer from NBA range before Dunn answered right back twice.
After Edward Gipson hit 1-2 free throws for the Panthers, Pelham held a slim 42-37 lead to end an exciting quarter of play.
The excitement picked right back up in the final quarter as Stockdill slammed down a dunk to bring the Eagles within three, but Allison came right back with a 3-pointer as the crowd erupted.
Dunn answered with two straight baskets, one form beyond the arc, to cut the Pelham lead to 45-44 with 5:00 to play.
Pelham eventually picked up a 49-46 lead before Mayweather, who was playing with four foul, knocked down a three to tie the game 49-49 with just more than 2:00 to play.
The Panthers answered back right away with a Brown offensive rebound and put back, then a steal by Allison, who took it all the way for the layup and a 53-49 lead.
Just as he had done all night, Dunn answered the big play with another 3-pointer for Oak Mountain to cut Pelham’s lead to 53-52 with 55.3 to play.
That’s as close as the Eagles were able to get, however, as Allison started getting fouled and going to the line for 1-and-1 opportunities. He hit five of his six free throws down the stretch to help preserve the win for Pelham.
“It’s always a lot of fun when it’s Oak Mountain and Pelham,” Floyd said. “It was our home opener and their season opener and it didn’t disappoint. There were a lot of jitters and it was ugly at times, but that was a lot of fun.”
Dunn led Oak Mountain with 18 points after making three 3-pointers in the game. Stockdill ended the night with nine for the Eagles, while Nathan Jones added eight.
Behind Allison’s 31 points, Brown posted 14 to give the Panthers two double-digit scorers.