Walker County Basketball Tournament: Cordova continues county dominance

Blue Devils win fourth straight county crown

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 1/20/18

CARBON HILL — Overcoming a two-point first period deficit, the Cordova Blue Devils rallied with a stellar offensive and defensive performance to beat the Carbon Hill Bulldogs, 63-40, to win the program’s fourth-straight Walker County Tournament Championship on Saturday at Carbon Hill.

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Walker County Basketball Tournament: Cordova continues county dominance

Blue Devils win fourth straight county crown

Posted

CARBON HILL — Overcoming a two-point first period deficit, the Cordova Blue Devils rallied with a stellar offensive and defensive performance to beat the Carbon Hill Bulldogs, 63-40, to win the program’s fourth-straight Walker County Tournament Championship on Saturday at Carbon Hill.

Jayce Willingham led the Blue Devils with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Demetrius Kirk had 14 points and six steals. Tournament MVP Isaac Chatman finished with a double-double performance of 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

For Carbon Hill, Landon Bice led with 17 points, while Destin Blackwell had nine points.

Kam Cooper joined Chatman, Willingham and Kirk on the All-Tournament Team for Cordova, while Bice and Jon Michael Madison were named for Carbon Hill.

The title win was also a landmark achievement for Chatman and Cordova head coach Heath Burns, who have won six-consecutive championships together — with two coming at Parrish and the last four at Cordova.

“To be a part of six county championship teams is amazing. I’ve been with coach Burns since seventh grade and every year since, we’ve won the title,” Chatman said. “To be able to finish my last year of high school basketball as part of another championship team — six in a row — as well as being MVP is a great feeling and I’ve really enjoyed it. Along the way we’ve had to earn those championships because this tournament means so much to the communities in this county and each year I’ve been blessed to have a great group of teammates and coaches to share the experience and grow with.”

“It’s hard to measure because each one of these championship teams had such great players, but Isaac has been a mainstay on all six of those teams. He, along with our seniors winning four in a row, is an incredible accomplishment. When it comes to the final game of this season and I see Isaac, Jayce and Demetrius walk off the floor for the last time, I don’t know how I’m going to react — but I’m so very proud of them. I wouldn’t want to go on a journey with any other group of kids besides them,” Burns said. “I’m proud for these kids, our school and our community and happy we get t celebrate for another year.”

Burns also stated that the adversity faced by his team when the motivated Bulldogs held the early lead was symbolic of the trials and challenges Cordova has faced this season.

“We’ve played such a tough schedule this year against some of the best teams in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. It’s hard to explain the quality of these opponents until you see the effect it’s had on us. Tonight, we came out flat before we settled down in the second period and played the way we are capable of — which carried through for the rest of the game,” Burns said. “Our guys responded the same way we have responded after the weeks of elite competition — with pride and determination.”

The Bulldogs established control of the game, rallying from a three-point deficit with a 5-0 run. Bice scored all of Carbon Hill’s 13 points, including a three-point basket at the buzzer, for the 13-11 edge at the end of the first quarter.

Bice scored the first basket of the second period — then Cordova took complete command with an 18-2 run to finish the half up by 12 points, 29-17.

The Blue Devils continued to pull further away in the third period, outscoring the Bulldogs 22-11, to hold the 51-28 advantage.

Each team scored 12 points in the fourth period, with Cordova recording the 63-40 victory.

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Walker County All-Tournament Team

Cordova

Isaac Chatman — MVP

Jayce Willingham

Demetrius Kirk

Kam Cooper

Carbon Hill

Landon Bice

Jon Michael Madison

Dora

Brent Geeter

Achilya Dixon

Oakman

Peyton Hill

Skylar Hice

Curry

RJ Richardson