Call it the “Carter Court Comeback.”
The Scottsboro varsity boys basketball team’s first game on the newly-dedicated “Q.K. ‘Dusty’ Carter Court” at Hambrick Hall was trending toward a setback Thursday before the Wildcats rose up with a dominant fourth quarter, outscoring visiting Madison County 33-14 to post a 72-63 win on a special night for the program.
“I was glad we could finally find some energy and get back in the game and give ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter, especially on this historical night,” said Scottsboro head coach Kenny Hill. “Proud of their effort in the second half. We finished the game the right way.”
Prior to tip-off, the Hambrick Hall court was named in honor of Carter, the late hall of fame coach who led the Scottsboro program for 24 highly-successful seasons from 1952-1975, winning 478 games and the 1967 Class 3A state championship.
B.J. Harris closed with a game-high 21 points for Scottsboro (2-0). The junior scored 19 of those points in the second half, including nine in the fourth quarter. Parker Bell closed with 17 points while Jacob Cooper netted 14 (all in the second half) and JaVaris Branford added 10. Trevor Harris and Hunter Smith scored 17 points each for Madison County (0-2) while Ahmad Johnson netted 11.
Madison County took a 16-12 lead after one quarter and was in front 33-22 at halftime and 49-39 after three quarters. Scottsboro still trailed by 10 points with five minutes to go before finding a different gear.
Cooper and Triston Sexton hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the rally, and after buckets from Cooper and Branford, freshman Parker Bell sank two straight treys to tie the game at 63-all with 1:45 remaining. Bell got the ball back for the Wildcats by forcing a jump ball on Madison County’s ensuing possession and then made an acrobatic driving shot while being fouled. He converted the free throw to give Scottsboro a 66-63 lead — its first of the game — with 1:03 left. B.J. Harris’ steal then led to a layup for the Wildcats, and Cooper sank two free throws after Madison County missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left. Cooper’s steal and layup six seconds later capped the comeback as Scottsboro finished on a 12-0 scoring run.
“We got ourselves down early, not playing with energy, not rebounding. They were a little more physical than us. But as we brought our energy in the third and fourth quarter — I told them when that happens, shots will start going in,” Hill said. “I felt like B.J. got us going with his defensive effort and him and JaVaris did a great job of leading there in the second half. They’re older guys that showed good leadership and the younger guys responded.”