The Cullman Times
CULLMAN — John Gurtowski had so much fun saving the day for St. Bernard that he just couldn't wait to do it again.
Two games after the junior nearly dunked a putback in the waning seconds to lead the Saints past Addison, the center came through in the clutch for yet another area triumph. As time ran out in Tuesday's ballgame versus Meek, Jacob Grey missed a last-chance shot. Just as he did against the Bulldogs, Gurtowski was there to clean up the mess, rising up to push in the ball right before the buzzer sounded to secure a nail-biting 48-46 victory over the Tigers.
Sean Moriarty and JaDavian Roland provided most of the offense for St. Bernard, contributing 18 and 15 points, respectively. Gurtowski, competing in his first season of organized basketball, scored nine points, while Dean Smith chipped in four and Grey had two.
Seth Hayes' 17 points was tops for Meek. Jentson Hiller tallied 10 points.
The Saints will try to ride the momentum from their latest last-second win when they host Sumiton Christian on Friday.
% Holly Pond 76, J.B. Pennington 36: Six Broncos cracked double digits at home on Tuesday, and No. 10 Holly Pond concluded its area schedule 6-0 with a 40-point crushing of the Tigers.
The Broncos were exceptional on defense in almost every quarter, allowing just four, five and six points in the first, third and fourth frames.
Austin Smith claimed the top spot for Holly Pond with 17 points, trailed by Gunter Morris' 15 points and Vince Clingman's 12. Colby Adams, Jacob Cahoon and Ben Wilson all had 10 points apiece.
The 18-4 Broncos will host an anticipated county matchup versus Fairview on Thursday.
% Meek 50, St. Bernard 48: If only the Saints could have played the Tigers one day later.
With season- and prep career-ending shoulder surgery set for Wednesday, Haylee Ragsdale went out in a blaze of glory, scoring 20 of her 25 points in the third quarter and propelling Meek past St. Bernard.
Aymee Chauvin (14 points), Michayla Brown (13) and Zoie Wilson (11) all reached double figures for the Saints, who enjoyed a 31-17 lead at halftime. Zana Wilson pitched in six points, and Katherine Gamble had four.
% The Times' sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.