Montevallo unveils new court against Bibb County

Published 10:31 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

MONTEVALLO – Despite two tight losses against area foe Bibb County on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Montevallo Bulldogs grabbed a big win on the floor.

The Bulldogs ultimately saw the girls lose a defensive 39-25 game, while the boys fell in a tight 48-43 game, but they did so on a brand new court at Susie DeMent Gymnasium.

The new court featured a completely renovated floor with a new bulldog logo at midcort, an updated stain color for inside the three-point line, inside the paint and behind the three-point arc.

On each side of the half court line is also the name of the gymnasium on one side and “Dawgs” on the other side.

It looks more like a college court and has given the players a new sense of pride.

The floor was also graced with two tight basketball games, with the girls taking to the floor first.

In the opening quarter, the young Bulldogs were able to battle alongside Bibb County to a two-point deficit going to the second quarter.

In the second period, however, the Choctaws put together their best quarter of the game behind 17 points.

Montevallo ended up having its worst offensive quarter of the game on a tough night shooting, earning just four points in the frame, which led to a 26-11 deficit at the halftime break.

The Bulldogs responded with a much more spirited effort defensively in the third quarter, giving up four points and just two field goals as the Choctaws went 0-5 from the free throw line as well.

Montevallo matched its first-quarter output with a seven-point quarter, which drew the Bulldogs back to within striking distance in a 30-18 deficit going to the final quarter.

But they never could put together enough points on the offensive end.

Montevallo closed the game with seven more in the final quarter, while Bibb County added nine more for the 14-point victory.

The Bulldogs got 13 of their 25 points from Jai-Lin Ivory, while Teasia Purnell added eight.

It was a similar story for the boys, as the second quarter ultimately made the difference in a difficult area loss for them as well.

A compelling first quarter between the two ended in a hard-fought 9-9 tie featuring a combined 13 free throws from the two teams, including nine from the Bulldogs.

They made five of those nine, while Bibb County went 2-4 from the line. The Choctaws, however, made a 3-pointer and two additional field goals to even the score going to the second quarter.

That’s when Bibb County created the separation it needed.

The Choctaws made seven field goals in the second quarter to total 15 points, while the Bulldogs struggled from the field.

They made just one field goal and went 2-7 from the free throw line to post four points, which allowed Bibb County to take a 24-13 lead at the half.

From there, Montevallo was forced to fight from behind the rest of the way, but the Bulldogs never gave in.

They came back to hit six shots in the third quarter, including six from Jaydien Rutledge and four from Dylan Campbell.

That helped Montevallo outscore Bibb County 12-11 in the third quarter, but the Choctaws still carried a 10-point lead into the final frame.

Trailing 35-25, the Bulldogs responded with their best quarter of the game behind eight made shots, including four from Kial Cottingham and three more from Campbell.

It was part of an 18-point effort in the final quarter, but it was slightly too little as Bibb County’s 13 points helped the Choctaws hold on for the five-point victory.

Cottingham led Montevallo with 16 points in the game, 12 of which came in the second half. Campbell added 12 points, while Rutledge chipped in eight.