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November 22, 2013

PREP BASKETBALL: Vinemont boys, Hanceville girls grit out county, area wins

VINEMONT — Vinemont finally has its first county win of the season. Hanceville finally has its first loss.

Garrett Sipe was a big reason why — literally.

The 6-foot-7 center made his presence in the paint known when it mattered most, scoring six straight points late to lift the Eagles to a 59-52 area victory over the Bulldogs Friday night at home.

Sipe knotted up the score at 47-47 with 3:17 left on the clock, sank the game-winner more than a minute later and banked in one more basket for good measure to send Vinemont on its way. The senior proceeded to stuff a shot on the other end of the court and round up a critical rebound, allowing Lance Stanley, Zack Drake and Austan Hedgecock to ice the outcome at the free-throw line.

“We stepped it up, got our act together and came to play today,” said Sipe, whose squad improved to 3-2 with the win. “It feels great.”

Stanley was absolutely sizzling in the second half, sounding off for 14 of his team-high 16 points after the break. Hedgecock wasn’t far behind with 13 points, while Sipe rounded out the Eagles’ double-digit contributors with 12.

Vinemont’s other scorers were Drake, seven points; Austin Mosley, five; Hunter Rollins, four; and Riley Foust, two.

Hanceville had a head start on a 3-0 record with slim 19-16, 31-28 and 43-42 leads at the end of the first three quarters before the Eagles grabbed every ounce of momentum in the final frame.

Junior phenom Brontae Harris made a late 3-pointer to pull the Bulldogs within five, and senior Chris Smith drove to the hoop on the ensuing possession to close the deficit to four. Vinemont responded by nailing three of its last four attempts at the charity stripe, though, to keep Hanceville at bay.

Harris finished with a game-high 17 points. Smith was good for 11.

The Bulldogs’ other contributors were Xavier Malcom, seven points; Keith Twitty and Dant’e Reese, six each; Marshall Johnson, three; and Christian Sellers, two.

Hanceville will host Cold Springs Monday, while Vinemont will travel to Fairview Tuesday.

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