E.A. Sports Today

Piedmont falls in 2OT

Bulldogs drop heartbreaker to Hanceville 52-50 on double-OT day in Northeast Regional 3A boys semifinals 
By Roy Mitchell
Special to East Alabama Sports Today
 There are 1,920 seconds in a double-overtime high school basketball game. Saturday night, it took every last one of them to determine who advanced to the Class 3A Boys Northeast Regional final.
When top-ranked Piedmont’s last-second shot fell harmlessly to the ground, Hanceville had advanced with a 52-50 victory. 

The unranked Bulldogs (17-12) will meet another team that went double overtime for an upset – Midfield – Wednesday for the right to go to the Final Four. The Patriots outlasted No. 2 Plainview 65-64.

Piedmont’s season ends at 24-5.

“It’s a tough way to end it,” Piedmont coach JoJo Odam said. “Shots didn’t fall for us in the second half that we’d made all year.

“They’re really, really big, and it was hard to attack the goal. We’ve shot the ball all year. You know the old saying, ‘You live with it, or you die with it.’ We died with it tonight.”
The Bulldogs hit only five shots in the second half and overtimes after leading by as many as 10 in the second quarter.

While Hanceville packed the lane on defense, Piedmont found outside shot attempts against its match-up zone. Silas Thompson, Alex Odam and Jakari Foster hit 3-pointers in the opening quarter that ended tied at 12.
Odam led all scorers with 26 points, including five 3-pointers.

Against Piedmont’s man defense, Hanceville got drives from Zach Campbell, block points from Cainon Moore and Izayah Glenon, and a transition basket by Matthew Cornelius. Campbell netted 17 for Hanceville.

Piedmont tried to pull away in the second quarter. Freshman Odam hit two treys and layups off a fast break and a press break. Campbell, another freshman, scored off an inbound and on a breakaway. Raiden Morgan added a drive and stop-and-pop for points. Piedmont led by as many as 10, and at the half, were up 30-23.

Stout defense ruled the third-quarter play. Odam hit two early treys for Piedmont. Later in the quarter, he scored free throws after being fouled in transition. Thompson also added a fast break basket late. 

For Hanceville, Morgan and Moore connected on and-1 3-pointers. Campbell then scored in transition, and Tyson Bellmon added a right-corner basket late in the frame, but Hanceville still couldn’t cut into Piedmont’s advantage. Piedmont led 40-33 at the end of three quarters. 
Morgan also scored 17 for Hanceville.
Piedmont struggled on offense in the fourth quarter, and Hanceville finally chipped away at the lead. Morgan hit a transition bucket and a free throw, and Glenon nailed a high-post shot. Thompson’s put-back and an Odam free throw put Piedmont up 45-39 with 1:49 left in regulation.
After a Moore paint shot and two Morgan free throws, Hanceville had climbed within a bucket at 45-43 with 1:05 left.

Twice Hanceville had the ball with a chance to tie it, but couldn’t get off a shot either time The third time was the charm.

After Odam connected on the back end of a pair of free throws, Campbell pushed the ball and passed it down to the corner. On the return pass, the freshman hit the game-tying 3-pointer with five seconds left, sending the contest to overtime. 

“Tyson swung it to me, and I knew the clock was running down,” Campbell said. “Everything was form. I just shot it, and it went in.”

“He’s got kind of the clutch gene,” Hanceville coach Stephen Chandler said. “When the game’s on the line, he really wants the ball.”

In extra time, Hanceville connected with two Glenon free throws at the 1:29 mark, but Piedmont tied it with a Malachi Jackson putback with seconds remaining to force a second overtime.

Morgan rebounded his own miss and scored at the 3:36 mark of the next session, but Piedmont tied the game with Odam and Thompson free throws. 

Hanceville then won the game at the line, as Glenon hit a free throw with 31 seconds remaining and Campbell sank another with six seconds left. 

Piedmont then had trouble getting the ball up the court and had to settle for a long 3-point prayer, but it went unanswered and Hanceville advanced to the regional final.
Roy Mitchell is a sports correspondent for the Cherokee County Herald.
Hanceville 52, Piedmont 50
Alex Odam 7-24 7-11 26, Trey McFarland 0-4 1-2 1, Silas Thompson 4-15 3-4 13, Malachi Jackson 1-2 0-0 2, Jakari Foster 2-7 0-2 6, Omarion Foster 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Bussey 0-1 0-0 0, Jack Hayes 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 15-55 11-19 50.
HANCEVILLE – Izayah Glenon 2-3 3-6 7, Tyson Bellmon 1-4 0-1 2, Zach Campbell 6-14 1-2 14, Raiden Morgan 5-14 6-7 17, Cainon Moore 4-5 2-3 10, Matthew Cornelius 1-1 0-0 2, Ethen Roberts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 12-19 52.
Piedmont              12  18 10  6    2 2  –  50
Hanceville            12  11 10  13  2 4  –  52
3-point goals: Piedmont 9-28 (Odam 5-14, McFarland 0-1, Thompson 2-6, Jackson 0-1, J. Foster 2-4, Bussey 0-1, Hayes 0-1); Hanceville 2-20 (Bellmon 0-13, Campbell 1-3, Morgan 1-4). Rebounds: Piedmont 38 (Thompson 8, Odam 6, J. Foster 6); Hanceville 41 (Moore 10, Bellmon 9). Fouled out: Moore. Total fouls: Piedmont 15, Hanceville 18.

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