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County teams go on road during Thanksgiving

Several Franklin County teams recently took their hoops game to a destination at which they all want to arrive in February: the arena at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville. Instead of the Northwest Regionals, the teams participated in the Hampton Inn Thanksgiving Bash.

In February the arena is filled with rowdy student sections, huge crowds, sideline tables full of media and college coaches. Last week, the arena was practically empty – just family and other teams.

November is a time for coaches to get to know their teams and develop team chemistry. It’s almost a pre-season. There are few, if any, area games, and Thanksgiving week is usually a time set aside for getaway games – like the ones at Wallace – or tournaments. Some teams, like Red Bay, have yet to play a game because of football playoffs. Other teams, like Belgreen, already have several games under their belt.

December is when the real action begins.

The best game of Thanksgiving week was arguably the intra-county matchup between the Phil Campbell Bobcats and the Red Bay Tigers. The game went down to the wire, with the Tigers pulling away from the Bobcats in the waning seconds of the game to win 49-44.

Red Bay led Phil Campbell 16-13 at the end of the first quarter, but the Bobcats surged in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 15-9 to take a 28-25 halftime lead. Phil Campbell maintained a slight edge at the end of the third quarter, 33-32.

Phil Campbell’s Luke Garrison led all scorers with 23 points, going 11 for 13 from the free-throw line. Garrison was the only Bobcat to reach double-figures.

Braden Ray and Jalen Vinson led Red Bay with 11 points each. Lane Shewbart added 10 points.

Red Bay took a loss to Winfield the next day, 55-49. The Pirates got the win thanks to several Red Bay turnovers combined with Winfield’s ability to get to the free-throw line and knock down shots. Winfield went 25 for 30 from the free-throw stripe.

Point guard Clay Allison led Red Bay with 14 points. Ray and Vinson followed with 12 points and 10 points, respectively.

Phil Campbell lost to Class 6A Athens 79-51. Brett Saint and Garrison led the Bobcats with 16 points and 14 points respectively.

Belgreen lost to Cullman 57-45, partly because of a poor shooting performance in the second quarter, when the Bearcats outscored the Bulldogs 18-4.

Will Bonner and Scout Bragwell led Belgreen with 14 points and 12 points. respectively.

The Tharptown boys lost games to Carbon Hill and Briarwood Christian.

In girls action, the Phil Campbell Bobcats picked up their first win of the year with a 62-27 drubbing of Guntersville. Kallie Allen led the Bobcats with 21 points.

The Bobcats had lost to Sparkman the previous day.

Belgreen lost to Decatur Heritage 56-45. Belgreen trailed by one point at the half, but the Eagles took control of the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 28-20.

Gracie Dempsey and Ansley Tate led Belgreen with 12 points and 11 points, respectively.