The race for the regular-season Class 2A Area 15 title expects to be a highly competitive one between Section, North Sand Mountain and Fyffe.
To win the race, winning home games is considered a must. And Section did just that Friday night.
The Lions built a double-digit halftime lead and held off NSM’s furious fourth-quarter rally to post a 92-89 area win.
“It was a huge win,” said Section head coach Derek Wynn. “This area, you’ve got to win at home. Confidence-wise, it’s huge for our guys because (NSM) is a really good team.”
The game was tied 21-all after one quarter, but Section (7-3, 2-0) outscored the Bison 24-8 in the second to lead 45-29 at halftime. The Lions led 65-54 after three quarters, but NSM gradually cut into the deficit before missing a game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Alex Guinn scored 29 points and Logan Patterson netted 24 for Section, which got a career-high double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds from Matthew Brewster.
Russ Marr scored 34 points, Luke Maples netted 26 and Jared Beasley added 10 for NSM (0-1 in area).
Skyline 63, Valley Head 23 — At Valley Head, Skyline remained perfect with a convincing Class 1A Area 14 win on Friday.
Skyline (11-0, 2-0) led 19-6, 36-14 and 56-14 at the quarter breaks.
Jaylon Clements scored a game-high 18 points for Skyline, which also got 11 for Dawson Wynn, 10 each from Collin Lockard and Kordell Talley and eight from Jaxen White.
Thomas Brewster scored nine points and Waylon Collins had eight for Valley Head (0-6, 0-2).
Plainview 74, Pisgah 64 — At Pisgah, two-time defending Class 3A state champion Plainview rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Pisgah in Class 3A Area 14 play Friday night.
Pisgah (3-5, 0-1) led 16-8, 30-25 and 58-57 at the quarter breaks.
Jared Wilks scored 21 points to lead the Eagles, who also got 15 from Rhyan Barrett, 11 from Austin Brown and nine from Nate Cornelison.
Luke Smith and Tristan Willingham scored 20 points each and Cole Millican added 12 for Plainview (7-2, 2-0), which sank 14 3-pointers.
Guntersville 76, Scottsboro 46 — At Scottsboro, the Wildcats had their four-game winning streak snapped during a battle for the lead in the Class 5A Area 15 standings on Friday.
Scottsboro (7-2, 1-1) trailed just 15-11 after one quarter, but Guntersville (4-1, 2-0) opened up a 35-20 halftime lead and was in front 63-35 after three quarters.
B.J. Harris led Scottsboro with 16 points. Parker Bell scored seven points while Dylan Fairbanks had six and Jordan Davis had five.
Guntersville had four players score in double figures, led by Brandon Fussell’s 16 points. Campbell Leach added 13 while Jerrell Williamson netted 12 and Cooper Davidson had 11.
NSM 77, Sand Rock 58 — At Sand Rock, North Sand Mountain outscored the home team 24-4 in the fourth quarter to earn the win Saturday night.
NSM (4-2) trailed 13-10, 31-21 and 54-53 at the quarter breaks before rallying for the victory.
Russ Marr scored 23 points for the Bison while Jared Beasley scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. Luke Maples added 12 points for NSM while Derek Bearden scored nine and Chandler Sullivan added six.
Cade Ballenger and Xander Bradley scored 11 points each for Sand Rock (4-2).