Montevallo pulls away to defeat Calera for rivalry win

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – On the big stage of the University of Montevallo’s Trustmark Arena, the hometown Montevallo Bulldogs beat the Calera Eagles 44-33 on Tuesday, Dec. 12 to sweep the season series against their county rivals and improve to 8-3 on the year.

The Bulldogs pulled away after a fairly even stretch of the game to secure the win.

The teams traded baskets in the early minutes and had an answer for anything that each offense did on the other end of the floor. Calera took a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter to lead going into the second.

Montevallo took back the lead early in the second quarter, and the teams traded three-pointers in the middle of the quarter.

The Bulldogs’ Demeco Gibson knocked down a pair of shots from long range to give his team the lead, and they held on to lead 18-16 at the halftime break.

Shortly into the third quarter, Calera cut the deficit to one, but Montevallo responded in the next three minutes to go up by seven with two minutes left in the period.

The Bulldogs would then extend the lead to 33-22 by the end of the third, scoring 15 points in the quarter including five each from Dee Cutts and Malachi Cartwell.

Montevallo opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run to go up 39-22, but the Eagles fought back to draw within single digits.

Calera cut the gap to seven with three minutes left in the game, but Montevallo held strong in the face of the pressure and retook a double-digit lead, winning the rivalry match up by 11 points.

Cutts led the Bulldogs in scoring with 11 points. Gibson scored eight points, Ja’Von Chism had seven points and Cartwell had five points in the victory.

Despite the loss, Calera’s Tierren Thomas was the game’s top scorer with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter. Jayden Hall also had five points for the Eagles.