By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
It’s standard procedure for a Billy Conner-coached Corner basketball team to shoot well and wear down opponents over time.
The Yellow Jackets played to form Monday night, taking the lead for good over host Fultondale on a pair of Zac Pate 3-point shots at the start of the fourth quarter, on their way to a 62-52 victory.
Corner opened the period with 10 straight points, but more importantly held the Wildcats to just three points for the entire quarter. That was partly due to a cold shooting streak by the Cats, but also increased defensive pressure by the Jackets (11-8).
The inside-outside tandem of Blake Byrd and Austin Sanford topped Corner’s score sheet, with Sanford going 10-for-12 from the field (83 percent) on his way to scoring 25 points, plus pulling down 11 rebounds. Byrd added 18, though he struggled a bit from outside the 3-point line.
ArDarius Stewart and Travez Hicks paced the Wildcats (4-5) with 16 points each. Stewart got 11 of his points in the third period, including three straight baskets that put Fultondale up by four midway through the quarter. But he was shut out in the fourth, while Hicks had the Cats’ only field goal in the final frame.
Corner hosts Curry Tuesday night, while Fultondale heads for Vincent, seeking to avenge their only Class 2A area loss of the season. A win would give the Wildcats a chance to host the area tournament.