By Chris McCarthy/Editor
With Ragland getting a little too close for comfort, Coosa Christian used some long-range shooting in the second half to put away the Purple Devils on Tuesday (Jan. 26) in Gadsden.
With the host’s lead trimmed to single digits late in the third quarter, Wesley Grizzard and Caden Davison combined for five 3-point baskets to spark the Conquerors’ to a 71-52 victory.
All three of Grizzard’s treys came within a two-minute span in the second half when the visitors had closed within six points. He finished with nine points.
“Wes is our shooter,” said Coosa head coach Richard Hollingsworth. “He struggled with fatigue early on and needed a little while to rest up after the football season, but he’s been light-out ever since. He’s been phenomenal for us.”
Davidson, who was recognized during the evening for scoring his 1,000-career point earlier this season, ended up with a game-high 29 points. His 3-pointer at the third-period buzzer provided the Conquerors with a double-digit lead that held up over the final eight minutes.
“That was just a normal performance from Caden,” said Hollingsworth. “He has so many different ways to score and he does it consistently.”
The Conquerors also had a big edge in rebounding, getting a good deal of their points off second and third chances on offense.
“We’ve played really athletic teams in our area over the past few years, and we had to make a conscience effort to buy into getting the ball,” said Hollingsworth. “It’s been a more mental approach than physical, and these kids have brought right in.”
Jace Mills added 15 points, while Caleb Sanderson scored 10.
Helped by 12 points from Davison, Coosa led 19-16 after one quarter.
In a back-and-fourth second period, the lead changed hands six times before Davison’s jump shot with 28 seconds left gave the Conquerors a 31-27 halftime advantage.
The Purple Devils remained within striking distance in the second half. Eleven straight points from Jadon Killing drew the visitors within 51-44 at the 6:45 mark of the fourth.
That was as close as the St. Clair County squad would get, however, as Grizzard’s three-pointer on Coosa’s next possession began a 17-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Killing led Ragland with 20 points, followed by Jagger Phillips with nine and Stoney Merritt with eight.
Hollingsworth pointed to a healthy home-court advantage as a reason for the Conquerors’ resurgence.
“We’ve lost one game on this floor in the past two years, and that was to Cedar Bluff by four points,” said Hollingsworth. “So we feel very confident when we play here.”