Florence needed a big game from its top player to pick up an important region victory over Decatur, and Chaunce Watkins came through in a big way.
Watkins scored 24 of his 36 points in the second half to lead the Falcons to a 71-59 road win over the Red Raiders in boys prep basketball action Friday night.
The Falcons (17-6, 3-3 Class 6A, Area 16) trailed 29-28 at halftime before Watkins got hot in the second half. Watkins had two thunderous dunks to help swing momentum Florence’s way. He was just as effective from the free throw line, knocking down 12 of 16 attempts.
Darius Smith also had a big game for Florence, scoring 13 points to help the Falcons outscore Decatur 43-30 in the second half.
Chandler Boy led the Red Raiders with 15 points.
Florence finished in a tie for second place in the area with James Clemens. The Falcons and Jets will meet in the semifinals of the area tournament.
Lauderdale County 61, Deshler 53: Lauderdale County broke open a tie game with a big fourth quarter and pulled away from Deshler to post a region victory.
The game was tied at 39 after three quarters, but Lauderdale County (8-12, 3-5) outscored Deshler 22-14 in the fourth quarter to claim the victory.
Nathaniel McCafferty led Lauderdale County with 22 points while Drew Newton scored 21 and Daniel Tiede chipped in with 10. Thomas Gamble was the only player in double figures for Deshler (11-10, 4-4) with 13 points.
Muscle Shoals 66, Russellville 55: Jake Wood scored 17 points to lead Muscle Shoals to an area victory over Russellville.
The Trojans jumped out to a 35-26 lead at halftime and were able to sustain the lead in the second half.
Kendall Johnson added 15 points for the Trojans while LeDamian Stanford scored 14.
Russellville’s Caleb Robison led all scorers with 19 points, while Jacob Seal added 11 points for the Golden Tigers (7-13).
Mars Hill 78, Central 55: Five players scored in double figures for Mars Hill as the Panthers pounded Central.
Mark McWilliams and Thomas Swinea led the Panthers (20-5) with 14 points each. Joe Wilson added 13 for Mars Hill, followed by Harrison Chastain with 11 and Landon Willis with 10.
Desmond Koger scored 13 points to lead Central.
Wilson 65, Rogers 56: Wilson celebrated Senior Night in style as the Warriors claimed a crucial area victory over Rogers.
The five Wilson seniors scored 50 of the Warriors’ 65 points with Austen Oakley leading the way with 18 points.
Oakley had two early 3-pointers to give Wilson a 14-9 lead after one quarter. Cameron Thorn later hit three treys to help the Warriors pull away for the win.
Thorn added 15 points for Wilson (10-13, 3-3 Class 4A, Area 16). Latham Thompson scored 14 and Caleb Morrow had 12 for the Pirates.
Colbert County 84, Cherokee 58: Colbert County connected on 10 treys in an win at Cherokee.
Tobias Qualls and Jonah Casteel combined for 43 points. Casteel hit five 3-pointers and finished with 20 points while Qualls turned in a game-high 23 points.
Jolly Benjamin led Cherokee with 21 points while Dylan Harris added 11.
Colbert Heights 48, Waterloo 31: Kaleb Suggs scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Colbert Heights to a home win over Waterloo.
Suggs had a big second quarter as the Wildcats took control. The sophomore hit three treys in the period to key a 19-13 run and the Wildcats never trailed again.
Tyler Whipple led Waterloo with 15 points and Wayne Darby scored 10.
Hatton 44, Lexington 33: Ty Terry and Laron Cooper scored 15 points each to pace Hatton to a win at Lexington.
After trailing 19-13 at the half, the Hornets used a 19-6 spurt in the third quarter to take the lead for good.
Jake Rogers led Lexington with 10 points.
Shoals Christian 56, Covenant Christian 18: Shoals Christian held a slim 10-8 lead in the first quarter before reeling off 36 unanswered points in a route of Covenant Christian. Covenant was held scoreless in the second and third quarters as the Flame took control.
Daniel Wood scored 18 points for Shoals Christian while Matthew Russ added 11.
Ty Brown paced Covenant Christian with 11 points.
Collinwood 57, Wayne County 55: Collinwood’s Logan Montgomery took a charge late in the game with the score tied at 55, then converted the winning basket at the other end of the floor with four seconds remaining to give the Trojans the victory.
The frantic finish capped a back-and-fourth affair that ended with Collinwood improving to 13-6 on the season and 7-1 in district play.
Montgomery finished with 16 points, while Wesley Pigg added 10 points for the Trojans (13-6, 7-1 district).
Keeton Kelly led Wayne County with 16 points while Carson Kelly has 12.
Mars Hill 53, Central 47: Mars Hill rallied late to force overtime and then held Central to three points in the extra period to beat the Wildcats.
Central opened up an early lead and took a 39-29 advantage into the final period. The Panthers were able to cut into the lead and got late 3-pointers from Carley Harrison and Ann Marie Mitchell to send it into overtime. Anna Katherine Green hit a trey in overtime to put Mars Hill in control and two free throws by Tatyana Rutherford sealed the win.
Mitchell led Mars Hill (20-6) with 19 points and Mary Willis scored 12. Abby Keener scored 21 points for Central and Bailey Nelson added 10.
Lauderdale County 69, Deshler 57: Chatara Cox scored a team-high 21 points as Lauderdale County cruised to an area win.
Lauderdale County (24-4) finishes area play with a 6-2 record, tying Mars Hill atop the standings. The Panthers still clinch the No. 1 seed based on two head-to-head wins in area play and they will host the area tournament.
Jothani Dixon scored 21 points for Deshler, which led by two after the first quarter but trailed by as many as 20 in the third.
Lauren Cantrell added 17 points for Deshler, while Emma Wallen had 14 for Lauderdale County.
Waterloo 52, Colbert Heights 50: Melea McFall scored a game-high 21 points, as Waterloo held off Colbert Heights.
Kelsey Robinette sank a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left that pulled Colbert Heights within two, but the Cougars were able to run out the clock.
Robinette and Mykeauna Ingram scored 12 points each for the Wildcats and Kendra Saint added 11.
Baylee Atkinson had 10 points for Waterloo (5-19).
Wayne County 51, Collinwood 47: Morgan Mathis hit four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead Wayne County to a victory over rival Collinwood.
Jessi Gray added 12 points in the win for the Wildcats. Alexis Haddock scored 17 points and Hannah Littrell had 12 for Collinwood (15-4, 6-2).
Brooks 59, Haleyville 41: Brooks stayed perfect in Class 4A, Area 15 play with a 59-41 win at Haleyville.
The Lions only made one 3-pointer but dominated the paint with post players Erin Jewell and Mary McCormick combining for 40 points.
Jewell, a freshman, scored a game-high 26 points as Brooks jumped out to a 22-8 first-quarter lead. Tori Pendley led Haleyville with 12 points.
Covenant Christian 59, Shoals Christian 41: Covenant Christian earned at least a share of first place in the Class 1A, Area 16 race with a home win over Shoals Christian. The Eagles must flip a coin against R.A. Hubbard to decide the top seed and right to host the upcoming tournament.
Anna Claire Noblit led Covenant with 28 points while Bailey Hill tossed in 16 points for the Eagles.
Lacey Lindley paced Shoals Christian with 14 points.
Colbert County 51, Cherokee 36: Four players reached double figures in scoring as Colbert County picked up a win at Cherokee.
Mija Newsome led all scorers with 16 points for Colbert County, which raced out to an 11-3 lead and never trailed.
Kadeja Cheatom added 12 points while Klarissa Whalem an dIya Newsome tossed in 10 points each for Colbert County.
Cherokee’s Kayla Hooper, Morgan Sennett, Lana Johnson and Anna Hooper each scored six points.
Rogers 61, Wilson 58: Maggie Green scored eight of her team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as Rogers outlasted Wilson.
Free-throw shooting proved to be a factor as the Pirates connected on 15-of-22 attempts, while the Warriors were just 2 of 8.
Lindsay Hamner added 12 points for the Pirates while Brodie Belcher added 11.
Wilson’s Ciarra Edwards led all scorers with 27 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter. Brianna Terrell scored 17 points for the Warriors.
Red Bay 64, Tharptown 38: Red Bay overcame a slow start to beat Tharptown behind Allie Kennedy’s 18 points.
Tharptown led 16-8 after one quarter. Carlee Berry then scored seven points for the Tigers in the second quarter as Red Bay took a 29-21 lead into halftime. The Tigers continued to pull away in the second half.
Berry finished with 15 points and Lexie Lindsey had 14 for Red Bay (20-3). Danielle Creasy, Erica Valdez and Kamri Sears scored nine points each for Tharptown.
Lexington 40, Hatton 31: Lexington got aggressive on offense after a timid start and used a 16-2 third-quarter run to put away Hatton in a Class 2A, Area 16 win.
The Golden Bears (20-6, 4-0) led by as many as 22 points in the second half and their starters sat the fourth quarter.
Savannah Stults totaled 12 points and eight rebounds and Haven Albright had 11 points and six assists for Lexington.
Addie Carter’s seven points led Hatton.
Lexington can clinch the area’s No. 1 seed with either a win Monday against Tanner or Tuesday against Sheffield.