PREP BASKETBALL: Bulldogs come back to edge Mortimer Jordan 53-51, Vinemont, Cold Springs earn wins

Hanceville’s Zach Campbell (3) led the Bulldogs with 17 points in their 53-51 win over Mortimer Jordan Tuesday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Day two of this year’s Hanceville Thanksgiving Tournament at Lane Horton Gymnasium began with wins for the Eagles of Vinemont and Cold Springs and it ended with a dramatic comeback win for the Hanceville Bulldogs Tuesday night. Vinemont handled Ardmore 41-22 and Cold Springs defeated Falkville 57-48. Both Eagles squads will face each other Wednesday at 4:15 p.m.

In the nightcap, the Bulldogs trailed Mortimer Jordan by 12 at one point in the third quarter but rallied to tie the game with a free throw from Zach Campbell in the final 20 seconds. On the next Mortimer Jordan possession, Will Calvert rose up to make a huge block and Campbell took it the other way for an easy basket and a 53-51 win for Hanceville. The Bulldogs will be back on the court tomorrow night at 7 p.m. to face Corner in the tournament finals.

Hanceville 53 – Mortimer Jordan 51

A layup by Campbell and a jumper from Brayden Harris gave the Bulldogs an early, 4-0 lead and another Campbell score stretched the deficit to 6-0. Calvert turned a steal into a basket on the other end to make it an 8-2 game later in the period and Noah Jones scored to make it 10-4 at one point but a 10-0 run by the Blue Devils left Hanceville trailing 14-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Harris drained a three-pointer and Campbell laid one in to put the Bulldogs back in front 15-14 early in the second but another scoring run from Mortimer Jordan gave the Blue Devils a 22-17 advantage with three minutes remaining in the half. Harris knocked down a pair of free throws and Campbell drove to the basket and scored to trim the lead to 25-21 late in the second quarter but Mortimer Jordan was able to move in front of the Bulldogs 30-22 at the halftime break.

Another three-pointer from Harris made it a 37-28 game early in the third quarter but the Blue Devils maintained a 12-point lead midway through the period. That’s when Hanceville began to rally, cutting into the lead with baskets by Campbell and Harris along with a pair of free throws from Jones. An AJ Wood bucket trimmed the lead to 44-36 later in the third and Braxton Broad and Campbell each scored in the final 30 seconds to cut the deficit to 46-40 going into the fourth quarter.

Broad drilled a three at the start of the fourth to make it a 46-43 game and he followed it up with a layup that brought the lead down to 46-45. Campbell scored to keep the Bulldogs within one with about four minutes left to play. Campbell’s next basket came off a steal and gave Hanceville its first lead since the second quarter at 49-48 with three minutes remaining. Carson Garrett split a pair of free throws to make it a 2-point game with two minutes on the clock, but the Blue Devils were able to score and tie things up with less than a minute to play. Trailing 51-50 with 20 seconds remaining, Campbell knocked down a free throw to tie the game at 51 and on the ensuing Mortimer Jordan possession, Calvert blocked a shot attempt from the Blue Devils and sent Campbell sprinting down the court for an easy layup and a 53-51 lead with just five seconds on the clock. The Bulldogs got the final stop they needed and completed the 53-51 come from behind win over Mortimer Jordan.

Campbell led Hanceville with 17 points in the win, followed by Harris with 12 and Broad with eight. The Bulldogs will be back in action Wednesday night at 7 p.m. to face Corner in the tournament championship game.