Yellow Jackets cruise into county tournament semifinals


Photo: West End’s Gavin Knue (left) guards Sardis’ Brock Ondo during the Yellow Jackets’ 63-43 victory in the quarterfinals of the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Sardis City. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy

Glencoe maintained a double-digit lead from late in the first quarter to the final buzzer in a 63-43 win over West End in the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament quarterfinals last Tuesday (Jan. 15) in Sardis City.
The closest the Patriots could get in the second half was 12 points midway through the third quarter, but a buzzer-beating three-point basket by Collin Hardy provided the Yellow Jackets with a 49-32 lead heading into the final eight minutes, and Glencoe’s advantage was never again seriously threatened.
“[West End] stayed in a 2-3 defense most of the night, so we were able to work the ball inside,” said Glencoe head coach Jason Gilley. “When you get the ball in the middle and overload one side, you pretty much get easy looks. We were able to maintain [possession] and make a lot of those shots. I’m proud of how hard our guys played, and anytime you can get a win in the county tournament, it’s huge.”
Cade McCarver paced the Yellow Jackets with 13 points, followed by Ethan Wells with 11 and Braden Lang with 10.
The Patriots’ first and only lead came at 5:50 of the first quarter on a basket by Gavin Knue. Glencoe then closed out the quarter on a 15-1 run that put West End in a hole it could not climb out of.
The Yellow Jackets steadily added to the lead during the second quarter. A three-pointer by Jeremiah Roberson narrow the gap to 29-18 with 3:13 left in the half before consecutive treys from Brock Ondo and Wells helped stake Glencoe to a 35-17 lead at the break.
The Patriots outscored the Yellow Jackets 15 to 14 in the third quarter but still trailed by 17 points, and a pair of three-pointers in the fourth period by McCarver provide more than enough insurance. Roberson led West End with 13 points, followed by Eli Pearce with 10.

The No. 3 seed Yellow Jackets (7-14) face top seed Southside in Thursday’s semifinal round. In the team’s previous game on Dec. 4, the Panthers posted a 51-37 win.
“We’ll see what we can do,” said Gilley. “They’re really good but you never know what will happen. Hopefully we’ll have it going on and come out playing hard.”

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