By Glendon Poe, Fort Payne Times-Journal
FYFFE – Another Piedmont team’s season came to an end at the hands of the Fyffe Red Devils on Friday night.
After overcoming a sluggish start, the third-ranked Red Devils limited No. 5 Piedmont to 13 second-half points and closed the game with clutch free-throw shooting, winning 61-51 in a Class 3A Boys Northeast Sub-Regional Basketball Semifinal game at Mike Cochran Gymnasium.
Fyffe (24-6) plays area rival Plainview in the 3A Northeast Regional final at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum. Plainview routed Saks 73-33 in the other regional semifinal.
Piedmont’s basketball season ends at 17-8.
Parker Godwin paced Fyffe with 25 points and five assists, Micah Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds, Brody Dalton contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds and Tate Goolesby chipped in seven points and 10 rebounds.
After erupting for 24 of his game-high 32 points in the first half, Piedmont’s Alex Odam was restrained to just eight second-half points, largely courtesy of Xavier Works’ defensive work.
“I tried to tell them how good (Odam) was for Piedmont, and I don’t think they believed me,” Fyffe coach Neal Thrash said. “But now they had a good dose of him right there. He did some very special things in the first half, but then we settled down and started getting after his tail.”
Thrash praised the job Works did in guarding Odam in 1-on-1 situations in the second half.
“It was about staying with (Odam) and staying with hands up in his face,” Thrash said. “And if he started getting a couple of dribbles into the paint, we were going to have somebody run and help.
“Tate Goolesby, Micah Johnson and Brody Dalton all did a really good job of coming to help defend.”
Odam poured in 17 points in the second quarter to help push the Bulldogs to a 38-29 halftime advantage before the Red Devils sharpened their defensive effort and rallied.
Godwin scored a layup off a stolen pass and assisted Works with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-43 with 3:21 remaining in the third. Goolesby found Dalton for a layup to make it a one-point game and Johnson dished to an open Goolesby, who buried a trey, to lift Fyffe into a 47-45 lead with 1:50 to play in the period.
Odam sank a pair of free throws to send the game into a 47-47 tie entering the fourth.
Fyffe took the lead for good with 5:14 left in regulation and extended it by making nine of 12 free-throw tries in the closing minutes.
The Red Devils trailed 12-3 after Omarion Foster made two free throws with 3:33 remaining in the opening period. Godwin cashed in two shots from beyond the arc and Works added another 3-pointer to narrow the gap to 18-16 by quarter’s end.
Johnson assisted Godwin with a 3-pointer to give Fyffe a 19-18 lead with 7:41 to play until intermission. Godwin chipped in two free throws and an assist to Dalton for a layup to give the Red Devils a 25-24 edge with 4:52 to play, before Odam sank into a hot-shooting streak for Piedmont.
Foster and Luke Bussey both had six points for Piedmont. Foster also pulled down nine rebounds. Sean Smith finished with five points.