Call it home court advantage, call it the upper hand, but whatever it was, Cottondale came to play Friday night when they took the court for the girls’ game, junior varsity game, and the varsity game against the visiting Pirates. The gym was packed and the standing room only crowd was into the games throughout the afternoon and night. When the last buzzer sounded in the varsity game, Cottondale had prevailed in all three with a 72-49 win to cap off the night.
Sneads fell behind in the first quarter 20-13 with Amari Banks hitting on all eight cylinders for Cottondale, putting up 11 points, followed by Cameron Brooks with five. Sneads answered with a pair of threes from D3 Darbyshire and Chase Harrell, with Quan Daniels making one from the line and adding a bucket.
The Hornets continued to dominate in the second quarter, outscoring the visiting Pirates 21-15 to take a 41-28 lead into the locker room at halftime. D3 Darbyshire posted six points, while Jalen Johnson put up five for Sneads. For the Hornets, it was Amari Banks continuing with the hot hands with 11 points in the second quarter, followed by Xavier Brown with five.
Both coaches know all too well there are two halves in a ballgame for a reason. Coach Chris Obert holds the distinction of having the longest active basketball coaching stint in Jackson County. He’s motivated girls and boys alike and they don’t come with any more experience. He let his team know, it wasn’t over at the half. In the other locker room, coach Rob Hubbs has a rapport with his players like no other. The respect they have says it all and he let them know quickly, they had 16 minutes left to play and to get after it with their best effort.
The home team proved to have too much momentum for the visitors to counter. Cottondale outscored Sneads 11-8 in the third with Cameron Brooks leading the charge with four points, followed by Amari Banks with three. Sneads was led by Chase Harrell and Jay-Nathan Hayes with a three-pointer each.
The Hornets wore down the Sneads Pirates in the final quarter, outscoring them 20-13. Quan Daniels put up eight points for the Pirates, including two from downtown while Amari Banks proved to be a one-man show on the night with 10 points. Xavier Brown posted six points in the quarter for the Hornets.
Leading Sneads on the night was Quan Daniels with 16 points, followed by D3 Darbyshire with 11 points. Chase Harrell and Jalen Johnson both posted eight points each.
The Hornets had an NBA kind of night from Amari Banks with 35 points, followed by Cameron Brooks with 14 points. Xavier Brown put up seven points, while Dayron Garrett and Qui’darius Henderson both had six points each.