Wildcats hold on for win over Montevallo

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

COLUMBIANA – In the first of three consecutive games against county opponents, the Shelby County Wildcats were able to take down the Montevallo Bulldogs at home on Monday, Dec. 4, by a final score of 66-61.

Both teams have gotten off to rocky starts due to injury or difficult schedules in the early going, but neither disappointed when they squared off for the first time this season.

The Wildcats (3-5, 1-0) were carrying some confidence into the game after picking up their first area win of the season over the Moody Blue Devils, 66-39, on Friday, Dec. 1.

The Bulldogs (2-5), on the other hand, were coming off a hard-fought battle with rival Calera that resulted in a 68-53 road loss.

From the opening tip, both teams came out firing, which led to a fast start on the offensive end of the court.

Shelby County ended up with the upper hand at the end of the opening quarter thanks to the deep ball as they jumped in front by three points, 18-15, heading into the second quarter.

In the second period, the two combined for the lowest scoring quarter of the game as both defenses stepped up. It led to a combined 26 points between the two as they played to 13-13 tie in the quarter, which gave the Wildcats a slim three-point lead at the half, 31-28.

Similar to the first quarter, Shelby County came out hot offensively in the third period and it led to 18 more points. The Wildcats’ defense also continued its strong play by limiting the Bulldogs to 13 points for the second consecutive quarter.

At the end of three, Shelby County had extended its lead to 49-41 with one frame left to play.

Montevallo had by far its best quarter of play in the final period thanks to an offensive explosion of 20 points, which was just six points shy of the Bulldogs’ combined points in the second and third quarters.

They were able to outscore the Wildcats, but the defense still gave up 17 points in the quarter, which wasn’t quite enough to overcome the nine-point deficit heading to the final period as Shelby County hung on for the 66-61 win.

Shelby County was led by Nathan Bates, who knocked down six 3-pointers in the game. He ended the night with 26 points, 18 of which came on baskets from beyond the arc.

Montevallo was led by Jamarcus Green with 28 points, five assists and five steals. Green now has a combined 48 points in the last two games against Calera and Shelby County. Joseph Cardoza added 10 points for the Bulldogs to give them two scorers in double figures.