Words by Skylar Lara | Images by Justin Hunter
On Monday night, the heart of Jasper witnessed an intense basketball showdown at Carl Cannon Coliseum. The clash between Jasper High School and Hanceville High School, each boasting impressive basketball histories, became a decisive victory for the Vikings.
Jasper seized the opening tip and asserted their dominance over Hanceville. Led by towering center Miller Moody, Jasper had a clear advantage, particularly in the paint. Moody showcased his shooting prowess early on, sinking a three-pointer from the top of the key. From the start, Jasper’s full-court press created offensive opportunities, while Hanceville struggled to match the pressure, resulting in poor shots and turnovers. At the end of the first quarter, Jasper held a commanding 17-point lead.
In the second quarter, Jasper extended their lead with a spectacular breakaway dunk from Braylen Johnson, igniting the crowd. Despite Hanceville’s efforts, Jasper, with a size advantage, demonstrated superior shooting and attacking skills. Moody and JoJo Odom excelled at passing inside, while Easton Banks contributed significantly with two three-pointers and a total of 11 points. The halftime score stood at a commanding 41-13 in favor of Jasper.
After halftime, Hanceville attempted a comeback by forcing turnovers but couldn’t overcome the 28-point deficit. By the end of the third quarter, Jasper’s lead had further widened to 67-22. Jasper seemed to slow down in the fourth quarter, opting to run the clock out. However, with less than two minutes remaining, Moody’s pass to Caden Steiner resulted in a beautiful backdoor cut, adding to the Vikings’ final score of 75-32. This victory marked Jasper’s successful start to the season on opening night.
Reflecting on the team’s performance, Vikings head coach Heath Burns stated, “I thought we played well. The guys really put in a lot of effort on the defensive end, and they played hard. Our zone defense looked a lot better, and I thought we shot the ball well.”
Despite celebrating the win, Burns emphasized the team’s focus on the challenges ahead, acknowledging the tough competition in the upcoming games. The team will savor the victory but is eager to get back to practice preparing for the next game.
Jasper’s next game is scheduled against Bessemer City at Carl Cannon Coliseum on Friday, November 17. WL