NEW ALBANY • New Albany’s boys earned a big division win on Tuesday night, and coach Scotty Shettles was just happy to be there.
The Bulldogs took down No. 8-ranked Corinth, 60-55, in a Division 1-4A showdown. It avenged a loss to the Warriors on Dec. 17, when Shettles was stuck at home in quarantine.
“It feels great. Any time we can get a division win, and I’m sitting over there watching them, I love it,” Shettles said.
New Albany (5-7, 2-2) needed big plays from everyone on the floor to pull it out, and that’s what it got in the second half. The Bulldogs didn’t take their first lead of the game until the 2:18 mark of the third quarter, when an A.I. Nugent free throw made it 35-34.
Corinth (8-4, 3-1) held a 38-37 lead entering the fourth, but the Bulldogs opened with a 7-0 run, with a Kevin Hernandez 3-pointer giving them a 44-38 lead.
“I told the guys back there a while ago, ‘Every one of you guys that played did something that helped us win. I don’t know if we could’ve won it without every one of you that played tonight,’” Shettles said.
New Albany certainly could not have done it without Michael Smith. The 6-foot-5 junior scored a game-high 19 points, most of them on jump shots.
He went on a personal 6-0 run in the third to tie the game at 34-34.
Cayden Betts led Corinth with 17 points. The Warriors were able to enter the paint at will in the first half, but New Albany’s defense finally stiffened up.
“We get some stops, and they made shots,” Shettles said. “You can play all the defense you want to play, but if you don’t make shots, you ain’t gonna have a chance.”
(G) New Albany 44, Corinth 35: Ashanti High scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Corinth was led by Lazoya Howard’s 11 points.
Turning Point: Corinth retook the lead at 49-48 on Will Crawford’s 3-pointer, and New Albany answered that with a 10-0 run, highlighted by another Hernandez triple and a Trey Berry dunk.
Point Maker: Smith shot 9 of 17 from the field and had five rebounds.
Talking Point: “We were flat for about a four-minute spell there in the third quarter. Seemed like we couldn’t get a shot to go in.” – Corinth coach Keith Greene