PREP BASKETBALL: Bulldogs come from behind to topple No. 4 Decatur Heritage 58-56, Lady Bulldogs fall in 57-56 thriller


ADDISON, Ala. — Addison hosted two very good basketball teams from Decatur Heritage Christian Academy at Allen Stephenson Gym Thursday night and came away with a split on senior night. The Lady Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to the Lady Eagles 57-56 while the Bulldogs were able to rally in the fourth quarter to overcome a double-digit deficit and knock off third-ranked Decatur Heritage 58-56.

Addison 58 – Decatur Heritage 56 (Varsity Boys)

Head Coach Ben Mastin brought his red-hot Addison Bulldogs into the game with a very tough Decatur Heritage team. The Dawgs coming off their recent Winston County Tournament Title were playing well and looking forward to avenging an early season close loss to the Eagles.   Addison took the game in a huge come from behind win, 58-56.

The first frame started out well for both teams as the Eagles won the period 20-15. There would be a theme to this game as Mr. Decatur Heritage Brayden Kyle had eight points in the period. His teammate, Mason Baxley, was just as hot as he put in seven of his own. Addison was led by their Senior point guard Eli “Curly” Howse. Howse had six points but had three assists to go with it. Addison senior Jathon Meank nailed a deep three in the period as well.

The second period has the Bulldogs going cold and the Eagles heating up. Heritage won the period 14-8 to take a comfortable 34-23 lead at the half. Heritage had four men score in the period and dropped in two three pointers. Kyle dominated the glass as he had six boards and two blocks in the period. Addison was led Christian “Ice Man” Roberts who had three points. Brady “Big Pappa” Gilbreath had two points, two boards and two steals in the second.

The third period was a back and forth affair as the Dawgs were outscored 13-10 to go into the final period down 47-33. Heritage’s Ian Eze had two points and two boards. Kyle had four points and three boards. Addison was led by Gilbreath’s trey and Justin “Rocky” Mather’s four points.

All seemed lost in Bulldog land as with only 3:20 to go in the game, Addison trailed 55-44 and looked to be dead in the water. But the Bulldogs, after a timeout by Coach Ben Mastin, came alive and started the comeback. Addison played smothering pressure defense and forced the Eagles into some mistakes. Addison was also able to outrebound the Eagles in the fourth. It was only fitting for an Addison senior, Roberts, to lead the Bulldog comeback. Roberts dropped in 12 points, thanks in large part to three three-pointers, and grabbed five rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. Gilbreath had seven points and Howse had four. Addison went on to outscore the Eagles 14-1 to end the game and come away with a hard-fought, 58-56 win. Gilbreath hit his lone trey attempt in the fourth to give the Dawgs their first lead since the first period.  

Addison moves to 15-12 on the season with the way over the No. 4 team in Class 1A.

Addison Head Coach Ben Mastin,

“This was an incredible game for us. Decatur Heritage is an excellent team and to be able to come from behind and get a victory is a great stepping-stone for us for the future,” Mastin said. “We came out a little flat and I really don’t know why. We had a very frank and positive discussion at the half, and I basically told them, that if they want to be a good team this is the type of game that you have to win. A victory like this can help us grow individually and as a team. This gives us an opportunity to keep playing really good ball and to get ready for the start of the area tournament.”

Unofficial stats:

Addison was led by Roberts with 15 points, seven boards and three steals. Howse had 12 points, five boards, six assists and two steals. Gilbreath had 12 points, six boards and six steals. Jed “Wizard” Wilkins had seven points and two boards. Mather had six points, four rebounds and two assists. Bradley “Big Foot” Willette had three points and two boards. Briley “Snake” Hayes had two assists. Jathon Meank had a three pointer.

Heritage was led by Kyle who had a game-high 16 points, 15 boards and two blocks. Eze had four points and five boards. Baxley had 10 points and four boards.

Add​ison seniors honored were, Eli Howse, Christian Roberts, Justin Mather, Joe Harris and Jathon Meank.​

Decatur Heritage 57 – Addison 56 (Varsity Girls)  

The first frame was an excellent one for the Lady Dawgs as they were able have six players score in the period. Addison was led by Gracie “Bug” Manley who had five points, Anna Grace “The Glove” Luker and Hadley “Shooter” Butler each drained a three-pointer. Addison outscored Decatur Heritage 17-11 in the period. The Lady Eagles were led by Freshman Genie McGhee with five points.  

The second quarter was one that the Lady Dawgs would like to forget as Heritage outscored them 16-9 to take a 27-26 lead into the half. Heritage used their size to dominate the glass and hold the Lady Dawgs to one shot. Heritage’s young Miss McGhee had an outstanding period as she scored eight points and grabbed three rebounds with two blocked shots. Her teammate, Freshman Bri Tyson nailed two three-pointers to pace the Lady Eagles. Addison was led by Manley’s seven points and four rebounds. Decatur Heritage’s ability to block and alter shots was a major factor in tonight’s game. Heritage blocked 15 total shots in the game and altered many more.

The second half, which Addison usually starts out strongly did not occur on this evening. The Lady Dawgs were outscored 13-8 in the period to give the Lady Eagles a 40-34 lead. Addison was held to only one field goal in the period and that was made by “Tiny” Bracie Rodgers.   Manley put in seven more points, but they were all from the free throw line. The second half is really where the Lady Eagles started to dominate the glass. Heritage was led by Senior Brantleigh Williams who had six points and three boards. Oh, we didn’t forget about future star Miss McGhee as she tallied only two points but had four boards and three blocked shots.

The fourth looked like this was just going to be a Heritage win but the Lady Dawgs did not quit and got hot from three-point range. Addison outscored Decatur Heritage 22-17 and were able to hold their own in the fourth period on the boards. Addison Super Sixth Woman Butler nailed three three-pointers and “Magic” Molly Gilbreath had one of her own. Manley not to be outdone scored six points and grabbed five rebounds. Heritage was led by Elizabeth Wilson who tallied eight big points and two blocked shots. Addison was trailing by eleven with 2:32 seconds to go in the game and went on a run. Butler and Gilbreath started raining threes and Manley and Luker were grabbing the rare misses. Addison cut the lead to 57-53 with only 18 seconds to go.  Addison took the ball down the court and Butler nailed a deep three to cut the lead to one but that was the final shot as time ran out on the Lady Bulldog comeback. Addison dropped a heartbreaker 57-56 to fall to 17-9 on the season. Heritage goes to 14-6 and will probably move up into the top ten in 1A basketball rankings this week as they were just outside the top ten this week.

Heritage Head Coach Johnny Jones, “This was a tough environment for us to play in and we needed that. Our last two games have been blowouts and Addison is a good team and we needed to play a game like this to tune us up for the area tourney.”

Unofficial stats:

Addison was led by Manley who had a game high 25 points, 13 boards, two assists and two steals. Butler had 12 points and two assists. Rodgers had six points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Gilbreath had five points and two boards. Luker had four points, eight boards, two assists and four steals. Lydia “Barbie” Ergle had four points and two rebounds.

Decatur Heritage was led by McGhee’s 18 points, seven boards and six blocked shots. Wilson had 12 points, three boards and six blocks. Williams had eight points, 11 boards and two blocks. Tyson had eight points and two rebounds. Alex Jackson had six points and two boards. Ellie Metzgar had two points and six rebounds. Kennedy Kyle had three points.

Addison senior Lady Bulldogs honored were Bracie Rodgers, Anna Grace Luker and Emma Ridgeway.

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