Collinsville’s Wills surges in second half, leads Panthers past Cedar Bluff

Collinsville’s Colton Wills shoots a one-handed layup over Cedar Bluff’s MJ Adams during their basketball game on Tuesday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

CEDAR BLUFF – In the first half Tuesday, the Cedar Bluff Tigers did a great job defensively on Collinsville senior forward Colton Wills. They held him scoreless in the half, which resulted in the Tigers holding a four-point edge heading into the locker room.

But the second half was an entirely different story from the first.

Wills netted 16 second-half points, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also grabbed seven rebounds in leading the Panthers to a 57-52 comeback win to spoil the Tigers’ senior night festivities.

“We had a hard time getting him the ball. He had a hard time getting in the right spot,” Collinsville coach Jon Tidmore said. “We talked about at halftime some different ways to get it to him, and our team did a pretty good job of doing that.”

Cedar Bluff coach Johnny Amison said he felt Wills got “a little more aggressive.”

“I think we did a really good job on him in the first half, but he’s the type of kid when he sees his team down, he puts the cape on, and he started making shots,” Amison said. “We don’t have anybody who can just stop his shot. He can get a shot whenever he wants.”

Something else that benefited the Panthers (14-10) and was a detriment to the Tigers (14-10) was guards Bucky Leek and MJ Adams getting into foul trouble. Their absences at times proved crucial down the stretch.

“They finally had to sub, and that makes the press a little easier to break,” Tidmore said. “That was big.”

Cedar Bluff jumped out to a 13-5 advantage in the first quarter and held a 24-20 lead at halftime. Wills gave the Panthers their first lead of the game on his second 3-pointer with 3:57 left in the third. By quarter’s end, Wills had scored 10 of his 16 points which helped push the Panthers in front 35-32 heading into the fourth.

The Tigers could never get back over the hump from there.

“We had a couple of mental lapses, left some guys we weren’t supposed to leave, and they capitalized on it,” Amison said. “They can shoot. They’ve got a couple of guys who can knock it down. Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized. You’ve got to give them credit.”

Mason McAteer added 12 points for the Panthers. Gavin Lang rang for 10 points, including a pair of treys. Keaton DeBoard delivered eight points. Dawson Cothran came away with six points and Fernando Padilla finished with five points.

Leek led Cedar Bluff with 24 points, six rebounds, six steals and four assists. Caleb Tucker tallied 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to go along with four rebounds, two assists and a block. Adams added seven points, four rebounds, four steals and an assist. Aden Green finished with six points, three rebounds and a block.

“This is a great game for us to go back and watch film on,” Amison said. “The people we’re going to face (in the Class 1A, Area 12 tournament at Spring Garden) are going to do the same thing. We would love to get another home game (in sub-regional action), but to do that, we’ve got to be near perfect, especially on defense.”


Collinsville 59, Cedar Bluff 24

CEDAR BLUFF – The Collinsville Lady Panthers sank 12 3-pointers, leading them to a 59-24 girls basketball win at Cedar Bluff on Tuesday.

Tyla Tatum led the charge for Collinsville (14-6). She connected on six treys and finished with a game-high 24 points. Rylee Tillery rang four 3-pointers and had 12 points. Gracie Griggs added 11 points. Nayeli Mata hit a pair of treys and finished with six points.

The Lady Panthers built a 16-6 first-quarter lead, then blew the game open by outscoring Cedar Bluff 26-12 in the second, aided by six treys, to take a 42-18 edge at halftime.

“We have to score from there,” Tidmore said. “Other than Tyla, we don’t really have a two-point threat, especially against zones. We’ve got some girls who can take it to the goal against man (defense). I don’t like that much. Sometimes it’s feast or famine. We shoot it in practice a lot. They really focus on it and do it at game speed. I feel like we’ve got that ability to do it.”

Kylie Vadon led the Lady Tigers (11-12) with 17 points. Ciana Smith finished with five points.

Collinsville’s Tyla Tatum spots up for a 3-pointer in the first half against Cedar Bluff on Tuesday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.
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