Montevallo edges out Leeds in redemption win

Published 2:47 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

By SETH HAGAN | For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – The Montevallo Bulldogs turned in a big performance in their area rematch with the Leeds Greenwave, and were able to exact a little revenge in their own house as they grabbed a big lead in the first half and cruised to a 70-58 win.

That win, however, came at a cost as shooting guard and long range marksman Michael Jones went down hard in the first half and had to be taken to the hospital for his injuries after the game.

Jones got the Bulldogs (8-9, 3-2) started hitting his first shot from beyond the arc. Jamarcus Green scored the next two buckets, but battled foul trouble all night limiting his minutes in the first half.

Fortunately, Jones’ shooting was contagious and after stroking his second three of the quarter Omri Morton caught fire and drilled two in a row himself to give Montevallo a double-digit lead they didn’t relinquish and led 23-10 after the first quarter.

The Bulldogs didn’t let up in the second period as a fast break dunk from Green ignited the crowd and his teammates who picked up the slack after his third foul with six minutes remaining.

Jones hit back-to-back threes to put Montevallo up 33-15, but was fouled driving through the lane a few plays later. His momentum carried him out of bounds slamming his head into the concrete wall of the gym which sent both the echoes from the impact and gasps from the crowd into the air.

Jones was taken out of the game immediately and did not play for the remainder of the half. Again, the Bulldogs stepped up in the absence of a playmaker and took advantage of the free throw bonus toward the end of the quarter.

Tavicia Tutt scored five points in the closing minutes all off of cleaning up the offensive boards and Kial Cottingham hit two of his three free throws after being fouled shooting a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

Montevallo held a dominant 40-20 lead at halftime.

Leeds made a push in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs matched them nearly shot for shot maintaining their big lead. Cottingham had his biggest quarter scoring seven including the last two shots of the period giving Montevallo a 57-38 lead heading into the final period.

Jones was allowed return to action briefly, but didn’t score and with the win all but assured didn’t play the remainder of the game.

Leeds equaled their first half total in the fourth quarter, but Montevallo made enough shots to keep the Greenwave from crashing the home victory.

Green was a big factor down the stretch, grabbing eight rebounds and altering several shots while staying out of foul trouble.

He finished with a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in limited minutes.

Jones’ 14 first half points were still enough to lead Montevallo in scoring while Kial Cottingham added 11.

There was a scary series of events that followed the game’s final buzzer as Jones collapsed on the team bench minutes after the game’s end. Fans and teammates looked on in fear, crying while some huddled together to pray for the young man.

Police and school officials cleared the gym once paramedics arrived as Jones was taken to the hospital via ambulance minutes later accompanied by family members.