Montevallo outpaces West Blocton in area semifinals to wrap up sub-regionals spot

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

CENTREVILLE – The Montevallo Bulldogs are officially bound for sub-regionals after defeating the West Blocton Tigers 65-37 in the semifinals on the Class 4A, Area 6 Tournament at Bibb County High School on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

After a tightly fought start of the game, the Bulldogs used their three-point shooting in the second quarter as well as their second-half free throw performance to pull away for the dominant win.

Montevallo held off a pair of first-quarter three-pointers from West Blocton to gain a slight early lead. Javon Rogers led the charge for the Bulldogs with four of their eight points in the opening period and helped his team take an 8-7 lead going into the second quarter.

From there, the Bulldogs started to pull away thanks to a trio of three-pointers from Ja’Von Chism, Keiston Ross and Dee Cutts.

They also complemented the 17-point offensive quarter with another potent defensive performance as well, holding the Tigers to just six points in the second quarter.

Montevallo led 25-13 at halftime and only built on that advantage from there with 19 points in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs dominated on the offensive end of the court as Cutts scored six points and Chism went 5-5 from the free throw line to score seven points in the third.

After the defense allowed just 10 points from West Blocton in the opening eight minutes of the half, Montevallo took a commanding 44-23 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers offense had its best quarter of the game in the final period with 14 points, but the Bulldogs kept their foot on the gas until the final horn sounded.

West Blocton forced Montevallo to the free throw line throughout the fourth quarter, but Chism, Jamarcus Thomas and Keerin Ross combined to shoot 12-14 on free throws for the rest of the game.

Those free throws made up the majority of the Bulldogs’ 21 points in the fourth and wrapped up the 28-point victory and a spot in sub-regionals.

Chism led the Bulldogs with 20 points and Cutts joined him in double-figures with 17 points. Thomas scored eight points, Rogers had six points, Keiston Ross scored five points and Nylan Hill-Goode added four points in the victory.

In addition to their sub-regional game on Saturday, Feb. 10, Montevallo will now play in the area championship game against top-seeded Bibb County on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at Bibb County High School. The winner of the game will claim the No. 1 seed out of the area and host their sub-regional game.