Montevallo picks up key road victory

Published 9:03 am Friday, January 25, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

BESSEMER – After falling behind at the end of the first quarter, the Montevallo Bulldogs responded with 58 points over the final three quarters thanks to a torrid offensive presence the rest of the game to take down the Oak Grove Tigers 70-52.

In a season of ups and downs, it was a big win for the Bulldogs who were able to not only even their overall record at 10-10, but improve their area record to two games above .500 at 4-2.

With Montevallo being in a five-team area, there is still work to be done with two more area games, but the Bulldogs still have a good chance to host the area tournament thanks to the victory.

The slow start to the game saw the Bulldogs fall behind 13-12 at the end of the first period, as head coach Greg Dickinson admitted his team was a little off in the opening quarter.

The way they responded as a team, however, was impressive. And it all started on the defensive end.

Montevallo came out with a different attitude on that end of the floor in the second quarter knowing how much of a difference it could make in the game, and it quickly led to a growing confidence.

The Bulldogs’ stout defensive pressure not only held Oak Grove to a game low seven points in the frame, but allowed for easier baskets in transition for Montevallo.

With that added effort, the Bulldogs were able to start seeing shots fall, which led to an 18-point quarter to not only outscore the Tigers by 11 points, but storm in front for a 30-20 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs didn’t have quite as much offensive prowess, but they still had the confidence that they were the better team.

With that feeling, Montevallo was able to just what it needed to by making the quarter a hard-fought battle on both ends, which made it tough for Oak Grove to battle back.

The scoring differential wasn’t drastic as the Bulldogs outscored the Tigers 15-13 in the period, but that’s all they needed to do to extend their lead to 45-33 heading to the final period.

Heading to the fourth with a double-digit lead, Montevallo smelled blood and finished things off with ease.

The Bulldogs wanted to leave no doubt and made the quarter an offensive battle that went up and down the court quickly.

With that type of pace, Oak Grove was able to post its best quarter of the game at 19 points, but with the Bulldogs being the better team, they were able to post 25 points in the quarter to pull away for the easy 18-point victory.

Freshman Kial Cottingham ans sophomore Kavounte Britton both played big roles in helping Montevallo pick up the win.

Cottingham posted 14 points, six steals and five assists, while Britton added a team-high 15 points. Those two also got consistent help from Jay Sullens and Don Anglo, who both pitched in nine points.

After winning four in a row and six of eight games, Montevallo had lost four of its last five, but with the win, the Bulldogs have gotten back to their winning ways with victories in two of their last three games and that one loss coming by one point.

Those close losses have been key this season, as Montevallo has lost two games by two points or less, and eight games by 10 points or less.