By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
Down by 10 points with 2:25 left in the third quarter, Glencoe held Etowah to two field goals over the final 11 minutes en route to a 41-35 victory in boys basketball last Tuesday (Dec. 18) in Attalla.
The Yellow Jackets (7-3) finished out the game with a 19-6 run after Darius Bush’s two foul shots put the Blue Devils up 32-22.
Glencoe limited the hosts to one score over the final 11 minutes, a 3-point basket by Chris Steele at the 5:42 mark of the fourth period.
That basket gave the hosts a 35-31 lead, but the Blue Devils went dry the rest of the way as the Jackets ended the contest with a 10-0 run.
The late Jacket surge overshadowed Glencoe’s struggles in the second period, when the visitors were outscored 13-4 and managed one field goal.
The Yellow Jackets (9-3) also held a distinct advantage at the foul line in the second half, as Glencoe shot 85 percent (11-for-13) over the final two quarters. Etowah visited the charity stripe just once over the last 16 minutes.
Anthony Morris’ basket with 2:51 left in the game gave the Yellow Jackets their first lead since early in the second quarter. That turned out to be Glencoe’s last field goal, but Hancock and Joseph Fails each knocked down a pair of foul shots over the final 18 seconds to secure the victory.
Hancock led Glencoe with 15 points, followed by Brock Little, Di-llon Tidmore and Scott Bradley with six each.
“We gave up only 11 points in the second half, and that was the difference in the ballgame,” said Glencoe head coach Tommy Stanley. “For us to have an opportunity to win, we have to play defense and keep teams under 50 points. I thought we attacked the basket a lot more in the second half, which allowed to go to the free throw line.
“[Etowah] Coach [James] Graves did a great job, and tonight was a ‘getting better’ game for us because of how athletic Etowah is and how we handled their pressure.”
Hancock scored eight of his points in the first quarter to help Glencoe take an 11-10 advantage, but Bradley’s basket at 6:45 of the second frame was the last time the Jackets scored from the field in the first half.
Bush’s free throw 13 seconds later ignited a 12-2 run that gave Etowah a 24-15 lead at intermission.
Glencoe closed within five points in the third quarter before Bush’s foul shots provided the Blue Devils with a short-lived double digit advantage.
Graves noted that his team suffered one too many mental lapses in the second half.
“We took too many breaks, both on the offensive end and the defensive end. You can’t score 11 points in a second half and beat anybody. We played pretty good defensively in the first half, and then we take it easy like we had the game in the bag, and you saw what happened.”
Bush finished with 10 points, while Steele added seven.