White Hall played without one of its primary scorers Thursday, which hurt the Bulldogs as they dropped their second King Cotton Holiday Classic game.
White Hall fell 48-45 to Pinson Valley (Ala.), leaving the Bulldogs still seeking a win in this year’s tournament.
Jai’Chaunn Hayes led White Hall (7-8) with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Jordan Rasberry scored 14 points and collected 6 boards. The rest of the team combined for 6 points.
Jacoby Edwards, who scored 9 points in White Hall’s first game of the tournament, did not play Thursday. Coach Josh Hayes said the Bulldogs needed someone to contribute in Edwards’ absence, but no one got going.
“That’s exactly what we were missing, that third guy to give us a punch,” Hayes said. “In the first half, Jordan had 11, Jai had 7. We had 18 points. I went in there, said somebody else has gotta help us, and we just couldn’t get that consistent third guy all night. It happens when one of your starters and third-leading guy is out. We couldn’t get anybody to step up.” Pinson Valley (11-6) outscored the Bulldogs 24-12 in the paint and collected 14 offensive rebounds. The Indians on several occasions got multiple offensive boards on a single possession, leading to second- and third-chance points.
Clyde Walters led the Indians with 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Camron Frost scored 10 points with 6 rebounds. Jamaricus Thomas collected 10 boards.
Hayes said not having Edwards hurt the Bulldogs defensively in the paint.
“We just gotta get tougher,” Hayes said. “We ran a couple zones, and they just ate us up on the inside. If they didn’t score, they got two or three possessions. It seemed like every two possessions, they got two or three shots. It’s hard to beat a team when you’re doing that.” The teams combined to hit the game’s first three shots before cooling off. Pinson Valley led 8-7 after a low-percentage shooting first quarter. The Indians used a 15-2 run to pad its lead in the second quarter, but Rasberry hit some shots to get the Bulldogs closer. One of those shots came on the fast break after a steal when Pinson Valley was trying to run the clock down.
White Hall shot 21.7% in the first half and had several shots wiped away by offensive fouls. Pinson Valley led 26-18 at halftime.
Pinson Valley did not make a 3-pointer in the first half, but Walters made one to open the second half. The Indians built their lead to 35-24, but White Hall closed the gap in the final 2:10 of the third quarter. Hayes made a 3-pointer in the final 15 seconds of the third, then Cameron Ramos made one early in the fourth to cut the deficit to 37-35.
Hayes tied the game with a driving layup midway through the fourth, but the Indians didn’t surrender the lead, forcing the Bulldogs to start fouling in the final minutes. Hayes hit a jumper and two free throws in the final minute to cut it to 46-45, but the Bulldogs’ final shot at the buzzer didn’t go.