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franklin county times

Belgreen survives close game in Phil Campbell

J.R. Tidwell/FCT Tyler Medina (14) of Belgreen looks for an open teammate while guarded by Skeeter Benford (10) of Phil Campbell.

When the boy’s varsity basketball teams of Phil Campbell and Belgreen get together, the fans are pretty much in for a great game. Belgreen pulled out a close 46-45 win over Phil Campbell in a rematch of the Franklin County Tournament championship game.

Both teams had a solid chance to win the game, and Phil Campbell looked to be the victor until Chaney Simmons drained a 3 as time expired to win the game for the Bulldogs.

“This game can’t do anything but help us,” Belgreen head coach Greg Watson said. “It was a fun game, and we came back in the end.”

Skeeter Benford started the game of right for Phil Campbell by hitting a 3-pointer. Tyler Medina answered with a 3 for Belgreen, but two more deep shots by Benford put the Bobcats up 9-3.

Jake Tittle hit a layup and Dustin Smith hit a J to pull the Bulldogs within two.

Cameron Harris answered with a 3 for Phil Campbell, but a long field goal by Medina gave Phil Campbell a 12-9 lead with three minutes remaining in the first.

Tittle went on a tear to end the quarter, scoring two field goals and a 3 for the Bulldogs, giving them a 17-12 advantage at the end of one.

Brock Hester hit a shot of the glass to put Belgreen up 19-12, but Colton Vickery hit two shots and two field goals to narrow the gap to 21-18. Tittle drew an and one on a put-back layup followed by a pull-up jumper by Simmons, putting Belgreen ahead by seven.

Harris hit a field goal for Phil Campbell, ending the first half at 25-20 in favor of Belgreen.

Chase Landers hit a 3 at with just over two minutes gone from the third to put the Bulldogs up 32-22.

Phil Campbell mounted a comeback late in the third, spurred on by a 3-pointer by Ben Stancil.

The Bulldogs went into the fourth ahead 34-29. Benford drew an and one on a layup and made the free throw, pulling the Bobcats to within two with 7:55 left in the game.

Hester hit a shot from downtown to put Belgreen up by five, and a Landers’ layup opened the gap to seven.

Harris again narrowed the gap with a 3, and a layup by Jeremy Reed brought Phil Campbell within two points of the lead yet again.

The Bobcats took their first lead since the first quarter when Benford drained another 3-pointer, putting Phil Campbell up by one.

Two foul shots from Medina and a field goal b y Hester put the Bulldogs back on top at 43-40.

Benford hit a layup to pull the Bobcats back within one with 1:25 remaining in the game.

Harris hit a 3 with just 4 seconds left in the game, putting Phil Campbell up 45-43.

Belgreen took the inbound down the court, where Simmons ended up with the ball outside the arc along the right side of the baseline.

He put a shot up just before the buzzer sounded, draining the shot with no time left to give the Bulldogs the one-point win.

“I knew it was going in,” Simmons said. “I watched it go in in slow motion, then everything went crazy.”

“After a game I always think what else I could have done,” Phil Campbell head coach Will Copeland said. “Did I have the right people in? Was I playing the right defense? I didn’t think they would shoot a 3 at the end. We’ve lost four-in-a-row, but our kids are battling and sticking with it.”

Tittle led Belgreen in points with 15. Medina had 10, Landers and Hester picked up 7 each, Simmons totaled 5 and Smith added 2.

Benford led Phil Campbell in scoring with 17, with 12 of those points coming on 3’s. Harris had 11, with nine of that coming from behind the arc. Also scoring for the Bobcats were Reed (8), Vickery (6) and Stancil (3).

“After we lost the lead we could have folded, but you always have to believe till it’s over,” Watson said.


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