JaDavian Roland had a career scoring night, and Sean Moriarty made a late layup to help St. Bernard narrowly put away Addison 53-52 in a pivotal Class 1A, Area 14 contest.
The Saints needed some last-second magic from John Gurtowski to pick up a thrilling win in the rivals’ last matchup, but all St. Bernard required Tuesday night on the road was a large helping of Roland sprinkled with a dash of Moriarty.
Despite dishing the ball effectively to his fellow Saints all night, Roland’s teammates usually wound up giving it right back, allowing the senior to go off for an astounding 42 points.
“He took shots that he had, but he really didn’t try to force anything,” coach Wade Knight said of the star. “He’s really a special player.”
Moriarty, St. Bernard’s other senior, only had seven points in his return after missing a few games last week. His last two proved to be huge, however, giving the Saints’ a four-point lead. The Bulldogs only managed to close to one before the final buzzer sounded.
“Those two have really led us,” Knight said of Roland and Moriarty. “They’ve worked harder or as hard as anybody. I think the other kids have followed their leadership.”
Gavin Harris and Dean Smith both pitched in two points for St. Bernard.
Four Addison players finished in double figures. Kaleb Estill was top dog with 16 points, Zach Anders wasn’t far behind with 12, and Jesse Seales and Levi Tyree both popped off 10. Ronnie Willette and Jake Bryson had two points apiece.
The one-point squeaker improved the Saints’ win total to nine and secured a 3-5 record in area play. That mark matched Meek’s for the third seed, but St. Bernard lost the tiebreaking coin toss to wind up fourth, setting up an instant rematch with last-place Addison in the first round of next week’s area tournament at Decatur Heritage. The other opening-round game will pit Falkville versus Meek.
Knight has had a familiar face assisting him on the Saints’ bench this year — his son, Kurt. He said having the opportunity to work alongside Kurt has been an unforgettable experience.
“We’ve both been talking about how fun this year has been,” Wade said. “He’s really helped a lot. We’ve got a group of really, really good, young men.”
% Walker 70, Cold Springs 69: The Eagles erased a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter but came up just short in the last seconds against the Vikings.
Layne Rice and Triston Chambers went wild for 20 and 19 points, respectively, one night after Cold Springs (14-9) upset Cullman County-champion Fairview.
UAH signee Chayse Elliott was at his best in every aspect of the game, compiling an impressive triple-double with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Eagles will look to return to the win column Friday at Vinemont.
% Cullman Christian 43, Brooklane Baptist 6: The freight train that is the Lady Lions kept right on chugging Tuesday night at home with their latest lopsided affair.
Cullman Christian received 10 points apiece from Haley White and Jordan Canaday. White also contributed eight steals, three assists and two rebounds, while Canaday was good for four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Yancey York came through with eight points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Lions’ other contributors were Olivia Wright, four points, three rebounds and one assist; Christine Aldijaili, four points, one rebound and one assist; Louanne Stillwell, three points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist; Eliza Siegenthaler, two points, five rebounds and one steal; Holly Gray, two points, two steals and one rebound; and Callie Bagley, six rebounds and two assists.
Cullman Christian, now 18-2 (5-0 in area play), will hit the court again Thursday for a game versus Hope Academy.
% Addison 48, St. Bernard 33: Jessica Benton’s 14-point performance led the Bulldogs to a season sweep of the Saints.
Addison held a slim one-point lead after the first quarter, extended it to eight by halftime and enjoyed an 11-point cushion after the third.
Zana Wilson cracked double-digits for St. Bernard with 10 points. Michayla Brown chipped in seven points, while Alli Messick and Aymee Chauvin scored six each. Zoie Wilson and Katherine Gamble had two points apiece.
% The Times’ sports editor Rob Ketcham contributed to this report.