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CCHS wins eighth straight

The signs seemed to point to an upset.

Chilton County’s boys basketball team had watched its B-team—which, like the varsity, was trying to add on to its seven-year run of county tournament championships—lose in the title game. CCHS was playing the last team, Maplesville, to defeat it in a county tournament and couldn’t seem to put away the gutsy Red Devils.

Then the Tigers won their eighth consecutive tournament championship anyway, 56-49 over Maplesville on Saturday.

“We were a little tight because of the pressure, but we had some guys step up—like Montel Wilkes coming off the bench and doing a good job on defense,” CCHS coach Donnie Hand said. “We still have to do a better job of rebounding; that’s killing us.”

Maplesville outrebounded Chilton 31-27 to keep the game close after it looked like the Tigers (10-7) would cruise to the title after taking a 6-0 lead out of the gate.

The Red Devils tied the score at eight and took their first lead, 20-19, on a Matt Hamner jump shot 1:30 into the second quarter.

CCHS took the lead right back with two Taylor Hughes free throws, but Maplesville would stay within striking distance until Hughes leaped, grabbed a rebound and put the ball back—all without landing—for a 36-29 lead with 3:29 remaining in the third period.

The Tigers would lead by as many as 15 points in the fourth period.

“We played hard,” Maplesville coach Eric Bailey said. “We just had too many mental mistakes there at the end of the game that hurt us because Clanton is a good team.”

Maplesville’s Brian Bailey followed up his 38-point effort in the tournament’s semifinal round with 25 points in the championship game. Bailey also had eight rebounds and five assists.

Anthony Johnson recorded 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Devils.

Grantland Karn led CCHS with 16 points.

Both Hughes and Josh Williams scored 14 points. Hughes also recorded nine rebounds, seven steals and six assists.