Walker County Basketball Tournament: Carbon Hill girls complete four-peat
by Johnathan Bentley and W. Brian Hale
Jan 26, 2014 | 1511 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carbon Hill's Caroline Dodd (3) plays against Cordova during the Walker County Basketball Tournament on Saturday. Dodd, the tournament MVP, had 35 points in Carbon Hill's 59-54 victory. (Photo by Johnathan Bentley
Carbon Hill's Caroline Dodd (3) plays against Cordova during the Walker County Basketball Tournament on Saturday. Dodd, the tournament MVP, had 35 points in Carbon Hill's 59-54 victory. (Photo by Johnathan Bentley
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CORDOVA — Cordova had the top seed and home-court advantage.

Carbon Hill had Caroline Dodd and crew. That was more than enough for the Bulldogs as they claimed their fourth straight Walker County Tournament championship with Dodd earning her fourth straight MVP award in the process.

Dodd had 35 points and Carbon Hill held off a hectic fourth-quarter rally by the top seeded Blue Devils in a 59-54 victory.

Carbon Hill led by as many as 10 points in the final quarter, but Cordova battled back at the free throw line and cut the lead to two points, 56-54, after a Ragan Sherer 3-point play with a minute remaining.

Cordova had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line, but missed both shots with 16.4 seconds remaining. Carbon Hill finally iced the game with free throws from Molli Clark and Abby Tittle over the final 14 seconds.

“This was a great game and a great atmosphere. I thought we came out aggressive and set the tone early,” Carbon Hill coach Wade Tittle said. “Caroline was hot from the start and she showed that she is the best player in the county.

“We had so many kids play their hearts out tonight. They didn’t need to score a lot of points, it was their energy that helped us win this game. To win our fourth straight title is awesome because this is the first one where we were the underdog.”

Dodd was lights out from the start of the game, nailing a pair of three pointers and scoring eight of Carbon Hill’s first nine points.

She had 13 points in the opening quarter, 24 in the first half and 34 points through the first three quarters.

“The MVP doesn’t matter to me, but the county championship does,” said Dodd, a UAH signee. “It’s a team effort. It means a lot. It’s a great win. You have to enjoy while you can, but we have other things to look forward to. This was our first goal. We accomplished it and now we focus on the second one — the area tournament.”

With Cordova focusing its defense on Dodd in the final quarter, Carbon Hill had other players step up in the clutch.

Korey Tidwell made back-to-back baskets to put Carbon Hill up 55-45 with 5:12 left in the game.

The Bulldogs made just four free throws the rest of the way.

Carbon Hill also lost sharp shooter Savanna Lawson when she fouled out at the 3:57 mark. Tidwell and Katie Moore also fouled out in the final quarter.

Despite the setbacks, Carbon Hill held on to the lead.

“They kept fighting and we kept fighting,” said Dodd, who wasn’t able to celebrate until the final seconds of the game. “When Abby hit those free throws with .02 seconds left — then I was confident.”

After Dodd’s 35 points, Tittle added seven points, 14 rebounds and eight assists Tidwell had six points and 10 rebounds, both Lawson and Katie Moore had four points and Clark added three points and six rebounds.

The Bulldogs led 9-2, but Cordova put together a run of its own to tie the game at 12-12.

A Sherer layup with six seconds left in the first quarter notched the score at 17-17 after the opening quarter. Carbon Hill led 34-31 after the second quarter. Dodd broke a 31-31 tie with three free throws over the final 37 seconds of the half.

Dodd came out on fire in the third quarter, connecting on a driving layup and back-to-back 3-pointers for a 42-31 lead.

Carbon Hill took a 51-41 lead into the final quarter. Cordova got as close as two points, but was unable to get over the hump.

Four Carbon Hill players made the All-Tournament Team: Dodd, Lawson, Tidwell and Tittle. The rest of the All-Tournament Team includes: Cordova’s Jessica Willingham, Alexis Cooper and Sherer, Parrish’s Mekya Hill, Curry’s Ella Banks, Dora’s Madison Clayton and Oakman’s Jordan Harbison.

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Third-place game

(4) Curry 43, (6) Parrish 41

The Curry Lady Jackets locked up third place in the Walker County Tournament, edging the Parrish Tornadoes, 43-41, on Saturday at Cordova.

Ella Banks scored 17 points for the Yellow Jackets, while Mekya Hill had 31 points for the Tornadoes.

Curry took charge of the game with a 12-8 lead in the first period, but a 13-9 run in the second period by Parrish helped tie the game at 21-21 at the half.

The Yellow Jackets regained control in the third period following a 15-9 run for the 36-30 advantage.

Curry was able to hold off a final push by Parrish in the final minutes of the game to secure the 43-41 win.

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Fifth-place game

(5) Dora 43, (3) Oakman 31

The Dora Lady Bulldogs took fifth place in the Walker County Tournament, beating the Oakman Wildcats 43-31 on Saturday at Cordova.

Dora was led by Madison Clayton’s 20 points, while Malori Crowell scored 11 points to top Oakman.

The two teams battled to an 8-8 tie in the first period, before the Wildcats grabbed command of the game after a 10-7 run in the second period for the 18-15 halftime advantage.

Momentum shifted Dora’s direction in the third period thanks to an 11-6 run, putting the Bulldogs ahead, 29-24. Dora outscored Oakman 12-5 in the fourth period to clinch the 43-31 victory.

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JV Girls Championship

Curry 33, Dora 25

The Curry Yellow Jackets junior varsity girls captured the Walker County Tournament Championship with a 33-25 win over the Dora Bulldogs.

Katie Downs led the Yellow Jackets with 13 points, with Kelsee Sanford scoring 10 to lead the Bulldogs.

Dora took control of the game in the first period, 10-8, with Curry assuming control, 19-16, at halftime. The Bulldogs cut the lead to a point in the third period, though the Yellow Jackets remained out front, 23-22. Curry held Dora to three fourth-period points while adding ten to their total for the 33-25 victory.