Caleb Holt deftly dribbled behind his back, drove the lane and scored a layup.
No wonder he’s ranked No. 3 for 12-year-old basketball players in the state of Alabama. The 6-foot point guard plays with smoothness and unmistakable talent.
Holt had 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals for the Redstone 14-and-under team Thursday night against Liberty. But Redstone lost 38-35 at the Moon Complex, the former Grissom High building in south Huntsville.
“We should have rebound the ball better,” Holt said. Besides playing for Redstone in the Huntsville recreation league, he also plays for an AAU team. He attends a private school in New Market.
Redstone (5-2) trailed 10-9 after the first six-minute quarter. Liberty led 21-18 at halftime and 28-22 after three quarters.
“We were on a three-game winning streak, beating teams by 22 or better,” Redstone coach Marcus Tolbert said. “So tonight I think they thought it was supposed to be given to them. And so we were a little lazy getting back on D and our offense was dragging.”
Lucas Hazelrig scored 17 with two 3-pointers for Liberty (6-1). When a teammate missed the front end of a one-and-one, Hazelrig made a crucial rebound and putback with eight seconds left to end the scoring.
“It was a tough game but we all wanted that rebound, I know,” Hazelrig, who fouled out with six seconds left, said. “So I was just happy I could get it and get our team the win.”
Jaxon McMonigle added 10 points, 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
“They never gave up,” Liberty coach Robert McMonigle said. “They had a few mistakes and fouls early on set us back, kept the game even. They rallied in the fourth to keep it close. And defense won in the end.”