J.B. Pennington Holds Off Hard Charging St. Bernard


CULLMAN – J.B. Pennington claimed two victories on the hardwood this week over St. Bernard. The first was Monday night in Blountsville, with it being rather easy in a 72-28 Tiger runaway.

That was not the same story Friday night at St. Bernard's Fazi-Richard Athletic Center.

It took a free throw from Christian Baker with six seconds remaining to preserve a 57-53 decision with the Tigers handing the Saints their first home loss in four games.

St. Bernard regrouped following the Monday encounter in Blount County. Greg Boatright's Saints had defeated Meek 45-23 Thursday at the Athletic Center in their 1A, Area 10 opener.

The Saints trailed 13-5 after the first, 28-23 at halftime and kept it close, down 45-39 following the third period of play.

Freshman Christian Peterson served as an impact for the Saints with 17 points, he scored four baskets in the second including two treys during a pivotal time in the fourth period.

A three-pointer from Christian Garcia tied the game at 47-47 with 6:09 remaining. The Saints had worked hard from the beginning and was confident they could finish off a fantastic comeback.

But J.B. Pennington's Taylor Startley had other ideas. Startley scored two baskets in the first and wasn't heard from until he hit the go ahead shot on the left baseline about 7-feet away.

The Tigers were back on top 49-47 and never trailed for the rest of the contest.

St. Bernard had a couple of chances to tie the game in the final 90 seconds. But two turnovers spelled doom as the Tigers were accurate enough from the line to avoid an upset after they had dominated the Saints four nights earlier.

Jacob Grey netted 12 for the Saints, now 3-3, while Garcia accounted for 11, point guard Dean Smith nine and Luis Zatarian four.

For the Tigers, Weston Jones scored 12, all in the third period with two field goals coming from downtown.

Startley finished with 10, J.P. Cole had eight and Baker contributed seven to the win.

J.B. Pennington 32, St. Bernard 16 (Girls):

St. Bernard suffered its third straight loss of the week, two coming to the Lady Tigers.

The highlight was a 47-foot shot from the top of midcourt by Zana Wilson as the first period ended. It allowed the Lady Saints to hang around, trailing 10-7.

But Pennington was on a 17-6 run during the second and third stanza as Darby Hamm scored 14 in that stretch and ran the margin to 27-13 with one quarter left to play.

Hamm led her team with 16 points while Cheyene Faber scored seven and Peyton Dempsey six.

Wilson got seven for the Lady Saints while Jaden Edge had three and Anna Myers, Alli Messick and Tania Martinez scored two apiece.