PREP BASKETBALL: Hanceville drops area matchups to Etowah

Hanceville’s Zach Campbell finished with 21 points in the Bulldogs’ 84-79 loss to Etowah Tuesday night. (Sammy Confer/The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Hanceville faced off against Etowah in a pair of big area games at Lane Horton Gymnasium Tuesday night and Etowah ended up taking both games from the Bulldogs. In the girls’ game, the Lady Bulldogs dropped their game to the Lady Blue Devils 42-32 and in the boys’ game, a wild back-and-forth affair in the fourth quarter ended up going Etowah’s way and the Blue Devils were able to pick up an 84-79 win over Hanceville.

Etowah 42 – Hanceville 32 (Varsity Girls)

Aaliyah Twitty hit a tough shot to put Hanceville on the scoreboard first, but an Etowah trey gave them an early 3-2 lead. A steal and layup by Alex Twitty, which was later followed by an Aaliyah Twitty made shot, gave the Lady Bulldogs a 6-5 lead. Six straight points by the Lady Blue Devils gave them an 11-6 lead, but another made shot by Aaliyah Twitty cut it to 11-8. Etowah, though, drilled a buzzer-beating trey as that made it a 14-8 game going into the second period.

Aaliyah Twitty hit another shot down low, and Katelyn Boyd knocked down a short jumper after getting the offensive rebound to make it a 16-12 game. The Lady Blue Devils held a 20-13 lead late in the first half, but Aaliyah Twitty hit a shot down low and Kate Sterling drilled a short jumper to cut it to 20-17. But just like the first quarter, Etowah hit a three just before the buzzer sounded as Hanceville found themselves down 23-17 at the half.

Etowah pushed their lead to 25-17 to start out the third period, but baskets by Alex Twitty, Sterling, and Aaliyah Twitty made it a 25-23 game. A Cierra Merriweather free throw made it a one-point game, but the Lady Blue Devils scored the final seven points of the quarter to push their lead to 32-24 going into the final period. Etowah quickly increased their lead to 36-24, but a free throw by Aaliyah Twitty made it a 36-25 game. A three by Mattie Keith cut it to 39-28, but they wouldn’t get any closer after that as Etowah ended up winning the game over Hanceville, 42-32.

Hanceville (4-15, 1-2) was led by Aaliyah Twitty, who finished with 13 points. Alex Twitty added seven points, while Sterling ended up with four points.

Etowah 84 – Hanceville 79 (Varsity Boys)

Hanceville got off to a red-hot start as Brayden Harris and Will Calvert each hit a three, then a pair of free throws by Zach Campbell and one by Braxton Broad gave them a quick 9-0 lead. Etowah got on the scoreboard on a shot down low, but Harris answered with one of his own and Carson Garrett converted on his and-one opportunity to push the Bulldog lead to 14-4. Baskets down low by Calvert and Noah Jones made it an 18-6 game and later on, a Campbell trey increased their lead to 21-8. A pair of made shot by the Blue Devils cut it to 21-12, but another basket by Calvert and an and-one by Campbell gave the Bulldogs a 26-12 lead going into the second period.

Another shot made by Campbell made it 28-12, but a pair of treys by the Blue Devils cut it to 28-18. Five straight points by Harris made it 33-18 and later on, baskets by Noah Douglas and Harris pushed the Bulldog lead to 37-20. A layup by Logan Quick and a pair of free throws by Jones made it 41-25 late in the first half, but a late run by Etowah cut it to 43-35. Another driving layup by Campbell, a Calvert free throw, and a layup by Broad saw Hanceville take a 48-35 lead into the locker room.

Etowah quickly went on a run to start out the third quarter as they trimmed the deficit to 48-43, but a Harris trey pushed Hanceville’s lead to 52-43. But the Blue Devils weren’t done yet, as a pair of layups and a free throws made it a 52-48 game. A basket by Harris and a free throw by Jones made it a 55-50 game, but a late push by Etowah gave them a 56-55 lead. Campbell hit a late layup to give the Bulldogs a 57-56 lead going into what would be a wild back-and-forth fourth quarter.

Etowah got off to another fast start as they scored the first seven points of the quarter to give them a 63-57 lead. A Broad trey cut it to 63-60, and later on, one by Harris trimmed it to 65-63. The Blue Devils pushed their lead to 70-63, but a pair of Garrett free throws and another Harris trey made it a 70-68 game. A huge and-one by the Blue Devils increased their lead to 75-68, but Harris got fouled after he made a three. He completed the old-fashioned four-point play and Campbell hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 75-74.

Six straight points, though, by Etowah, pushed their lead to 81-74. Hanceville looked for a late push to get back in the game; Campbell hit a layup and later on, drilled a three from the top of the key to make it an 81-79 game with 32 seconds left to go in the contest. The Blue Devils hit three free throws to help seal the deal as Hanceville drops a heartbreaker to Etowah, 84-79.

Harris led the way for Hanceville (15-4, 2-1) with 28 points. Campbell added 21 points. Calvert ended up with eight points, while Broad added six points.

Hanceville will have another pair of huge area games coming up Friday night when the Bulldogs host Oneonta.

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