In their home opener coming off Christmas break, the Gardendale boys basketball team (10-7, 1-0) controlled the tempo from start to finish on Friday night in a 78-38 home win over Hayden (11-6, 2-2).

With the first half of the season in the books, second-year head coach Trent Hosmer believes his Rockets are prepared for a tough Area 11 slate, which includes Minor, Carver-Birmingham and Jackson-Olin.

“We have some high expectations for ourselves this year and we haven’t quite lived up to that yet, but some of that is by design: We’ve played a really tough schedule… and now we’re at the point of the season where those things will pay off,” said Hosmer.

Gardendale will return to conference play on Jan. 10 at Minor.

On Friday night, it was senior point guard Kameron Burkett that had the hot hand. He was particularly effective from bonus land, knocking down six 3-pointers on his way to a 28-point effort in Gardendale. Burkett worked inside and out, and went to the break with 12 points. He showcased his range in half No. 2, stepping back for four of his six 3-point makes.

It’s not the first time Hosmer has leaned on his senior.

“He had a game down in Florida where he hit like six 3s and he’s starting to feel it a little bit more, which is good for us,” said Hosmer.

Gardendale opened the contest on a 13-0 run and later went to the second frame with a 23-4 cushion. Junior wing Jalon Moore started the second with an and-1 and added two more buckets before Gardendale carried a 46-23 lead into the locker room.

Moore finished the evening with 15 points.

The Gardendale girls basketball team (0-8, 0-1) dropped a 60-40 decision to Hayden (10-4, 2-2) on Friday.

The Wildcats worked the ball inside to claim a 15-7 lead after one, and later called on senior Lani Adams from beyond the arc as Hayden pulled away. Adams connected on four triples, including a last-second dagger at the end of the third quarter.

That make capped off a dominant third quarter that sent the visitors into the final eight minutes with a 52-26 advantage. 

The Mortimer Jordan girls basketball team (12-8, 3-0) utilized a balanced scoring effort to beat Helena 57-35 at home on Friday night. For the Blue Devils, six players scored six points or more in the win, including MacKynzie Watson (13), Sarah Kanaday (9), Bellah Machen (9), Sara Archer (7), Reese Colburn (7) and Madeline Snow (6). 

The Mortimer Jordan boys basketball team (8-11, 3-0) dropped it fourth straight game on Friday night at home. After recently going 0-3 against Homewood, Woodlawn and Hillcrest-Tusscaloosa at the Metro Tournament, Mortimer Jordan fell 72-49 to Helena on Friday. 

The Fultondale boys basketball team (6-3, 2-1) scored a 62-55 home win over Dora on Friday. Point guard Willie Smith slashed his way to 23 points to go with an 18-point outing from Josh Maston and 15 points from William Hardrick. 

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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