By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
CENTER POINT — Gardendale fought off several runs by Shades Valley, but in the end it could not stop Claude Newell.
Newell had given the Rockets problems all night from beyond the 3-point arc, hitting five treys. But his rebound and putback with 10.7 seconds left broke a tie game, and gave the Mounties a 59-57 win over the Rockets in Tuesday's first round of the Jefferson County Large Schools Boys Basketball Tournament.
The teams were deadlocked at halftime, but after Gardendale put up a quick pair of baskets, the Mounties went on a 12-0 run and appeared to have taken control off the contest.
But Gardendale came back late in the game, taking one-point leads on two occasions before surrendering the advantage on turnovers.
Shades Valley had a big advantage on the offensive glass, pulling down 12 rebounds compared to just five for the Rockets.
Newell led all scorers with 24 points, and Cortlin Davis added 19 for the Mounties.
The Rockets were paced by Allen Williams with 17 points and Juan Jackson with 10.
Gardendale will face McAdory in a losers-bracket game Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Center Point.