PREP BASKETBALL: Hanceville sweeps Corner at home; Thursday night scoring wrapup

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Kelly Pickett (23) posted 17 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block in the Lady Bulldogs' win over Corner Thursday night. (Martha Needham for the Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE – The Bulldogs hosted Corner in Thursday night hoops action on a night where three Hanceville players were recognized before their respective games. Kelly Pickett scored her 1,000th career point on Nov. 30 against Susan Moore, Malia Howell was named the Player of the Month for November and R.J. Evans picked up his 1,000th career point on Nov. 27 against Fairview. In the girls' game, the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Yellow Jackets 41-27 and in the boys' matchup, Hanceville completed the varsity sweep with a 61-47 victory over Corner.

Hanceville 41 – Corner 27 (varsity girls)

The first quarter was a defensive battle as both teams were held to just four baskets combined. Corner held a 6-3 lead after one, but Hanceville's offense exploded in the second period, outscoring the Lady Yellow Jackets 20-5, with Pickett and Howell combining for 17 of those points to take a 23-11 lead into the locker room.

Four quick points by Corner made it 23-15 to start out the second half, but Hanceville answered back with an 8-1 run to push its lead back to double-digits. The Lady Bulldogs  took a 31-19 lead into the final period and wound up pulling away to win the game 41-27.

Pickett had a huge night, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block for Hanceville (7-6). Howell added nine points, three rebounds and a steal. Mira Gieser finished with five points, six rebounds and a steal. Lauren Roberson added five rebounds. The Lady Bulldogs will travel to Holly Pond next Thursday night.

Hanceville 61 – Corner 47 (varsity boys)

Hanceville got off to a slow start offensively, trailing 8-1 early, but the Bulldogs picked it up on both sides of the court as an 8-0 run, including a dunk by Zeke McDonald, gave them a 9-8 lead. Corner wound up hitting a three to take a 11-9 lead into the second period and an 8-4 Yellow Jacket run to start out the quarter pushed their lead to 19-13. After a Corner free throw made it 22-18, Tyson Bellmon nailed a trey to make it a one-point game and Hanceville finished the quarter on a 9-2 run, including a steal and a basket by McDonald, to take a 27-24 lead at the half.

Fred Ellis nailed a pair of treys and Romain Ponchon added one of his own, plus a layup, to start out the third period for Hanceville with an 11-2 run that quickly pushed the Bulldogs' lead to double digits at 38-26. Corner answered right back, but after a pair of Evans free throws, the score sat at 40-29. The Yellow Jackets scored eight in a row to make it a 40-37 game, but the Bulldogs held a 43-39 lead going into the final period. 

The Bulldogs made sure that a comeback wasn't in the cards for Corner by going on a 12-4 run to start out the quarter, making it 55-43, and they kept the double-digit lead the rest of the way, taking the game 61-47 to improve to 10-3 overall. Hanceville is now 8-2 in its last 10 contests.

Bellmon was one of four players to finish in double-figure scoring for the Bulldogs with 13 points and a pair of rebounds. McDonald ended up with 12 points, three rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Evans added 11 points, five rebounds and a steal. Ellis finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Ponchon added seven points and four rebounds. Damion Johnson ended up with six points, three rebounds and three steals. Cainon Moore rounded out the scoring with two points and two rebounds. The Bulldogs will be participating in a Christmas Tournament at Corner starting next Monday; their next regular season game will be next Thursday at Holly Pond.

Other Thursday night scores

West Point 76 – Holly Pond 40 (varsity girls)

Holly Pond 76 – West Point 60 (varsity boys)

Winston County 63 – St. Bernard 32 (varsity girls)

St. Bernard 52 – Winston County 45 (varsity boys)

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