Calera falls to Vestavia at Sneaky Pete’s Classic

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

VESTAVIA – After starting the season 1-0 with a solid win over the Leeds Greenwave on Thursday, Nov. 16, the Calera Eagles were back in action on Monday, Nov. 20, at the Sneaky Pete’s Rebel Classic where they took on host Vestavia in the first round.

A strong effort ended in a … loss to the Rebels, who made a run all the way to the 7A Final 4 in 2017.

Vestavia came out from the opening tip and made its physical presence known on both ends of the court and started the game on a 7-2 run. It was a low-scoring start that didn’t see Calera get its first basket until there was 4:22 left in the quarter.

Another issue Calera was forced to deal with throughout the game was foul trouble and it started in the first quarter as Ahmon Catlin, Cornelius Brown and Jacob Smith both picked up two fouls in the first 6:46 of play.

It left the Eagles without two of its bigger post presences and best athletes in the game for much of the first half.

Vestavia was able to take advantage and grabbed a 21-8 lead at the end of the first quarter after Tyler Anderson drained a shot at the buzzer over the outstretched hand of the defender for the Rebels.

The Rebels came out and extended that lead to 23-8 after two free throws to start the quarter, but Calera turned up the pressure after.

Tyler Millin caught fire inside the paint and went off for 11 of his 22 points in the quarter as the Eagles went on an 18-5 run to start the quarter and get within two points at 28-26.

Vestavia answered right back to close out the quarter as they ended the second on a quick 7-0 run take a 35-26 lead into the half.

After falling behind 46-32 in the third quarter, Calera answered back as they did in the first half with a strong run. The Eagles outscored Vestavia 11-5 late in the quarter to get within seven points thanks to a Jacob Smith 3-pointer just before the end of the quarter that made the score 52-47.

Scott Morrison knocked down a 3-pointer for Vestavia to start the final quarter of play as they quickly went back up by 10 points.

Layups by Brown and Kevin Dowdel then 1-of-2 free throws for Millin shortly after brought Vestavia within five at 55-50.

As seemed to be the case all night, however, the Eagles didn’t have enough to jump ahead.

Morrison hit another 3-pointer, Smith picked up his fourth foul and all of a sudden, things were going Vestavia’s way again at the end of the final period. The Rebels were able to hang on for the 69-55 win.

Millin posted 21 of his game-high 22 points in the second and third quarter. Smith finished second on the team with nine points.

Vestavia was led by Morrison with 14 points, while Breck Cuddy added 11 points. The Rebels had nine players score in all.

The Eagles (1-1) will play Clay-Chalkville in the loser’s bracket on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.