Dallas Co. tops Ellwood in battle of top 10 county teams
Published 11:51 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2017
PLANTERSVILLE — Tuesday night’s Ellwood Christian-Dallas County game marked the first time all season that two county teams ranked in the top 10 met. It certainly lived up to the hype.
Andre Hall scored 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Hornets pulled away from Ellwood Christian 75-62.
The game had a playoff atmosphere and was extremely physical at times. Dallas County was called for three intentional fouls and Ellwood Christian received a technical foul in the third quarter.
“You’ve got a brother versus a brother and most of these guys are friends,” said Dallas County coach Willie Moore. “We wanted to win the ballgame, but early in the game we were making the game personal when it shouldn’t have been personal.”
Ellwood Christian came in ranked No. 8 in class 1A and Dallas County was No. 7 in class 5A.
“It almost felt like a state championship game to us,” said Ellwood Christian coach Darrell Walker. “All week long we were talking about the battle of Selma.”
The game also featured brothers Chris Lee and Chance Lee playing against one another. Chris scored 8 for Ellwood and Chance had 2 for the Hornets.
Early on, it was clear how much the game meant to both sides. Ellwood Christian started the game on an 11-4 run, only to watch Dallas County storm back to take a 19-17 lead after the first quarter.
Loveless Craig made four first half 3-pointers for Ellwood, including two in the second quarter. His final three gave the Eagles a 37-35 lead going into halftime.
The lead was back and forth the entire third quarter, but Dallas County took the lead in the final minute. Craig was fouled hard on a dunk attempt and the Hornets were called for an intentional foul on the play.
The Ellwood bench was unhappy with the play and received a technical foul.
“Once we got a technical foul on our bench, it was like it changed the momentum,” Walker said.
After that play, Hall completed a 3-point play through contact and knocked down a free throw on the next possession as the Hornets took a 56-53 lead after three quarters.
The Hornets led from that point on. Hall slowed the offense down in the fourth quarter, forcing Ellwood Christian to spread the floor and defend.
The Eagles trailed by five or more from the six-minute mark on.
Mario Simmons scored for Dallas County, all on jump shots and layups. Josh Benford also scored 13 points for the Hornets.
Justin Bufford scored 17 points for Ellwood.
Dallas County will host West Blocton Friday, while Ellwood plays at Marengo Thursday.
Dallas County 42, Ellwood Christian 18 (Girls)
Dallas County overcame a slow first half to blow out Ellwood Christian 42-18.
Jamerah Smith scored 13 points for the Hornets and Keonna Pope had 11. Dallas County led only 14-3 at halftime, but doubled their scoring in the second half to pull away.
Aeisha Franklin scored 7 points to lead the Eagles, including a third quarter 3-pointer.