High School Basketball: Smith leads Carbon Hill past Lynn
by Johnathan Bentley
Jan 10, 2014 | 1237 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lynn’s Ben Cagle, right, gets around Carbon Hill’s Stevie Simerly during their game at Lynn High School on Thursday night. The Bulldogs used an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to earn a 43-38 win over the Bears. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Lynn’s Ben Cagle, right, gets around Carbon Hill’s Stevie Simerly during their game at Lynn High School on Thursday night. The Bulldogs used an 11-0 fourth-quarter run to earn a 43-38 win over the Bears. Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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LYNN — Carbon Hill’s Gerald Smith made game-tying and go-ahead baskets in a 30-second stretch and scored 11 fourth-quarter points as the Bulldogs rallied for a 43-38 victory at Lynn on Thursday night.

Neither team led by more than five points until the final minutes.

Lynn held a slim 32-29 lead midway through the fourth quarter after a pair of Payton Moore free throws.

Smith hit a driving layup to cut the gap to one point and he put Carbon Hill on top to stay with a basket at the 2:46 mark.

Smith’s first shot sparked an 11-0 Carbon Hill run that put the Bulldogs ahead by eight points at 40-32.

Lynn didn’t go down without a fight.

Moore drew Lynn within three points in the closing seconds after converting a four-point play with 11.6 seconds remaining.

Smith finally locked up the win with a pair of free throws at the 10.6 second mark.

Smith, playing in his second game back from an ankle injury, scored 15 points in the game.

“That was the only thing that saved us,” Carbon Hill coach Robert Epps said of Smith’s fourth-quarter surge.

Smith scored 20 points in his first game back against Oak Grove last week. Epps said his star player is 85 percent healthy.

“We are trying to see where he’s at and let him play himself back into shape,” Epps said.

Thursday’s game was close throughout. Carbon Hill led 7-6 after the first quarter and Lynn took a 15-14 lead into the half thanks to a Landon Alexander basket in the closing seconds.

Nathan Johnson and Jordan Henson made shots to end the third quarter for a 26-22 Carbon Hill lead.

Lynn immediately cut the Bulldogs’ lead to a point early in the third quarter when Ben Cagle converted a three-point play. The Bears took the lead with 5:04 left in the game on a Cagle driving layup.

Lynn (10-6) was done in down the stretch by a offensive foul followed by an intentional foul on the other end of the court.

For Carbon Hill, Chandler Gann added nine points while Henson and Johnson both had eight.

Lynn’s Cagle finished with a game-high 17 points while Moore had eight of his 11 points in the final quarter. Clay Porter knocked down two 3-pointers and finished with six points.

Epps said Lynn’s slow pace gave Carbon Hill trouble.

“We don’t have the athletes where we can come at you for 32 minutes with pressure. We pretty much have to pick our spots,” Epps said. “In the past, we didn’t have that type athlete either, but we were able to pressure them into submission in the half court.”

Carbon Hill (10-8) travels to Dora for a Class 4A, Area 8 matchup today.

Thursday’s game marked Lynn’s second straight narrow loss. The Bears fell to Sumiton Christian 54-51 on Tuesday.

Lynn plays at Addison today.

 ———

GIRLS

Lynn 38, Carbon Hill 20

Lynn held Carbon Hill scoreless for a 12-minute stretch as the Bears knocked off Carbon Hill 38-20 in Thursday’s opener.

The Bears led throughout, but put the game out of reach starting in the third quarter.

Carbon Hill (12-7) trailed 22-15 after a basket Abby Tittle basket at the 5:35 mark of the third quarter. The Bulldogs didn’t score again until the final minute when they got baskets from Holli Gaddy and Cierra Harbin.

Lynn went on a 16-0 run between Carbon Hill scores.

The ninth-ranked Bears (14-2) held the Bulldogs to just eight baskets on the night.

Lynn’s Reagan Tittle had 11 of her 21 points in the second quarter.

Carbon Hill got a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter for a 6-4 lead. Lynn went on a 16-5 run in the second quarter for a 20-11 halftime lead. The Bears were up 27-15 after three quarters.

For Carbon Hill, Tittle had seven points, Savanna Lawson had six points while Harbin, Gaddy and Caroline Dodd each had two.

For the Bears, Brooke Harris had six points, Kelci McGough had five, Holly Murray put in four and Emma Easley had two points, 10 rebounds and six steals.