HUEYTOWN — Mortimer Jordan overcame a lackluster shooting effort in the first half, and turned on the jets in the third quarter to turn back Corner 57-35 in Friday night’s small-school championship of the Jefferson County Schools Boys Basketball Tournament at Hueytown.
After the Blue Devils opened the game with an 8-0 run, their shooting touch went cold and the Yellow Jackets were able to claw their way back and pull even at halftime.
But Jordan got hot again, partly by keying on Corner guard Blake Byrd, who had scored 28 points against the Devils in the Jackets win earlier in the season. The strategy worked, as Byrd was held to just eight points, and none of his teammates picked up the slack.
“Yeah, we couldn’t hit a lick in the first half,” Jordan coach Lynn Elkins said. “But when we started to focus on Byrd to make sure he didn’t burn us again, we found our shots.”
Jordan started off the second half with a 17-2 run, and scored on every possession until the last minute of the third quarter. Likewise, the Jackets were one and on every trip up the court until they finally got an offensive rebound in the last minute of the period.
Then the Devils reeled off the first eight points of the last quarter, and that was that.
Mark Louis scored 15 points to lead Jordan; he was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Ben Hardiman added 13 points.
Hardiman and Seth Barnett were both named to the all-tournament team, along with Byrd and Austin Sanford of Corner. Also named to the team was Kris Lewis from Fultondale, which defeated Oak Grove in the third-place game earlier in the evening.
Jordan and Corner will play the rubber game of what amounts to a best-of-three series on Friday night on the Devils’ home court. That contest will be the fourth in five nights for the Devils, thanks to postponed games at the start of the regular season because of football-playoff conflicts; it will also close out the regular season for Jordan.
Corner travels to Fultondale on Thursday night.