Lee, Dallas County spoil Mustangs’ home opener

Published 9:25am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

“We just couldn’t recover,” said Stanhope Elmore boys basketball head coach Anthony Kummel after his team’s 62-28 season-opening loss to Dallas County Monday.

Dallas County center Williams Lee blocks Brandon Epkins' shot Monday. Photo by Cory Diaz
Dallas County center Williams Lee blocks Brandon Epkins’ shot Monday. Photo by Cory Diaz

The Mustangs (0-1) couldn’t overcome early turnovers, and had trouble containing ESPN top-100 recruit and recent University of Alabama-Birmingham commit William “Ha Ha” Lee who sailed his way to 26 points on the night to led all scorers.
An acrobatic first period from Lee and company that included several alley oops and dunks gave the Hornets a 23-point advantage at 32-9. For the rest of the contest, Stanhope’s defense tightened and held Dallas County to just 30 over the last three quarters.
“We’ve seen the big plays, we’ve seen the dunks and stuff like that,” Kummel said. “Turnovers killed us, I don’t know how many points they had off turnovers. They didn’t shoot the ball well. He’s got a good team, he keeps pressure on the ball, we turned the ball over and they took advantage of us turning the ball over. And we never could recover.”
Sophomore guard Jaryus Wilson accounted for most of the Mustangs’ offense, totaling 16 points. Four other Stanhope Elmore players combined to score 12.
Kummel said playing one of the state’s best teams, was all about a learning experience for his group. Freshman center Zack Byrd had the duty of covering on the best low-post seniors in Alabama and will only grow from it, the coach said.
“Hopefully, it’ll pay off.,” he said. “We play a good team like Dallas County, maybe it’ll pay off. That’s what I want to do, I want to play good teams in the beginning to gauge ourselves and figure out where we need to work. We got a long way to go.”
Evident by the Mustangs outscoring the Hornets 12-8 in the final period, even Kummel learned something about this season’s team.
“Our kids never gave up and that’s something we hadn’t had in the past. They didn’t give up, they kept fighting all the way until the end.”
Stanhope played Tallassee at home Tuesday and hosts Autaugaville on Nov. 26.

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