North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

December 20, 2013

Boys basketball: Mortimer Jordan 52, Locust Fork 41

From staff reports
North Jefferson News

CORNER — It’s sometimes surprising how a small change can make a big impact.

Mortimer Jordan’s boys were maintaining a slightly lead in the first half of their game against Locust Fork, but couldn't seem to put the Hornets away despite full-court pressure. So at halftime, coach Lynn Elkins made a slight adjustment.

“We had a man [playing] on the ball, and we took him off the ball to give us an extra man for pressure,” Elkins said. “We started face-guarding their guys, and they had a little problem adjusting.”

It worked well — the Blue Devils went on an 11-0 run to start the second half, on their way to a 52-41 victory over the Hornets in the second day of the Corner Christmas Tournament on Friday.

Locust Fork (7-9) started out with the advantage early, leading by two after one quarter. But Jordan (9-7) turned the heat up bit by bit, forcing turnovers with their press and taking a fove-point lead at intermission.

Their 11-point run to start the second half came in just under two minutes, forcing Hornet coach Brannon Smith to call two quick times out in order to get his squad back on track. Locust Fork couldn’t make much headway, though, and the Devils maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

It took a little while for Dalton Hudson, Jordan’s leading scorer, to get warmed up. But he did about midway through the second quarter, and finished with a game-high 16 points.

Kyle Hornbuckle led Locust Fork with 15 points, including two 3-pointers.

The Devils take on Marion County and the Hornets play Hanceville in the final day of tournament play on Saturday.