E.A. Sports Today

Gilbert learns patience in post

White Plains trims Weaver behind senior’s 25 points; UPDATES with Jacksonville game

White Plains' Nathan Gilbert (24) wins the center jump and continued to be dominant all game Friday. (Photo by Micaela Truett)

White Plains’ Nathan Gilbert (24) wins the center jump and continued to be dominant all game Friday. (Photo by Micaela Truett)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WHITE PLAINS — On game days when the thump-thump-thump of heavy bass is shaking the banners off the walls of the gym upstairs, you can usually find White Plains basketball coach Chris Randall down in his office listening to the soothing tones of John Mayer.

It’s his way of calming his psyche before unleashing the 32 minutes of hell on the Wildcats’ opponents in the moments that soon follow.

Randall has gained some sage advice from his musical escapes and there’s one piece of wisdom he has tried to impart of his senior post, Nathan Gilbert.

“We have a saying, ‘the great ones never get in a hurry,’” Randall said in a more quiet time Friday night after his Wildcats dispatched Weaver 88-71. “John Mayer never gets in a hurry; listen to him play sometime.

“I tell that to Nathan all the time — the great ones never get in a hurry. If you’ll notice, the best attribute to Nathan this year has been his patience. Once he catches the ball in the post or the free throw line he’s not in a hurry.

“Sometimes he’ll pump fake three or four times, but when that defense makes a mistake … he’ll capitalize on it. As soon as (the defender’s) not looking – boom — he goes in and finishes. He’s done a much better job of finishing this year. When you get that thing in the post and you’re patient, watch out. He never gets in a hurry.”

Gilbert killed Weaver slowly Friday night. He craftily weaved his 6-foot-4 frame through the inside traffic on numerous occasions to score 25 points and grab more than a dozen rebounds, the exact count of which won’t be determined until the coaches replay the video. Some of those caroms he either put back or forced the Bearcats to foul him in the attempt.

“As a big man that’s kind of your job,” Gilbert said. “Everybody on the team has a certain job they have to do and getting everyone to do their job is one of the things you have to do to win. I was just doing my job.

“It’s really about being patient. The more patient you are, the better your shots are going to be. If you can shot-fake and lift a guy, a 5-4 guy can shoot it.”

Gilbert was particularly patient – and effective — in the second half, which he scored 17 of his points. The Wildcats (6-1) were trying to protect a four-point lead midway through the third quarter when they went on a 9-1 run with Gilbert scoring the final five in a row.

Weaver cut it back to four early in the fourth quarter, but a five-point White Plains run took the lead back up to nine and the Bearcats (2-3) never got closer than seven after that. Gilbert helped that flurry with a free throw and a rebound off a missed free throw that led to a Kevin Carr basket.

Carr finished with 11 points. Michael McGuirk (17) and Murphy Doss (13) also scored in double figures for the Wildcats.

“It’s hard to defend him because we really don’t have size,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said of Gilbert. “That’s why we have to rely on pressure defense and do a better job. He’s just a tough kid on the post.”

The Bearcats’ chances of winning might have been better had they been able to make some free throws. Heaven knows they had plenty of opportunity in a game with more than 50 personals.

Sure, they did hit 12 of 14 in the second half, but were a dreadful 12 of 24 in the first half, at a time they were also 11 of 27 from the field.

“You’ve got to make free throws,” Hamby said. “We’re not where we want to be shape-wise and that means your legs are tired and that means you’re going to miss free throws. We need to learn how to shoot when our legs are tired.”

Delo Forbes upheld his end on the line for Weaver. He made 12 of 16 free throws in a 25-point night.

Etowah 73, Jacksonville 67

ATTALLA – Andreas Waker led four Etowah scorers in double figures with 19 points and the Blue Devils hit 12 of 28 3-point shots to edge the Golden Eagles.

Jacksonville also had four players score in double figures, but played only seven due to matchup problems. Sid Thurmond had a team-high 17 points. He played all but 23 seconds of the game.

Savon Parker had 14 points and game-high 11 rebounds (Jacksonville held a 38-30 edge on the boards). Cam Horton, who scored 36 against Weaver the night before, had 14.

All five Jacksonville starters played at least 24 minutes.

Anniston 54, Munford 23

Backcourt mates Tray Croft and Marrio Dobbins each went for 15 points as the Bulldogs, even on an off night, had more than enough to tame the Lions.

The Bulldogs had plenty of heroes to go around. Davion Tippins had 11 points and seven rebounds. DeQuan Ross had seven points and 12 rebounds. Emmanuel James had six points and 10 boards.

C.J. Chapman was Munford’s leading scorer with seven points.

Glencoe 39, Ohatchee 38

GLENCOE – Dylan Yates played his best game of the season, scoring 14 points and capping an Ohatchee comeback that just came up short with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Ben Glass added eight points for the Indians, while Brian Jennings logged six points and seven rebounds.

Coosa Christian 40, Jacksonville Christian 33

GADSDEN – Walker Messer scored 14 points and Daylon Brackett posted a double-double, but Coosa Christian pulled away in the second half to keep JCA winless.

Bracket had 10 points and 13 rebounds. The rest of the Thunder’s points came from Reed Murphy (6), Jumbo Tolbert (2) and Kris Armprester (1). Coosa Christian’s Charles Davidson led all scorers with 16 points.


White Plains 88, Weaver 71

WEAVER (2-3) – Delo Forbes 5 12-16 25, Craig Copeland 3 3-9 10, Jalen Heath 2 4-4 9, Cody Cochran 0 0-0 0, Paul Hubbard 4 1-3 9, Elliott Moore 1 0-0 2, Cameron Lynch 2 4-4 8, Charles Coleman 2 0-2 4, Marcus Sanders 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 24-38 71.

WHITE PLAINS (6-1) – Jared Guthrie 2 3-4 7, Dillon Greenwood 1 0-2 2, Jacob Montgomery 0 0-0 0, Kevin Carr 5 1-2 11, Eli Hightower 1 2-3 4, Michael McGuirk 6 4-5 17, Jackson Guthrie 1 0-0 2, Quez Wyatt 0 0-0 0, Lawrence Jackson 3 1-2 7, Nathan Gilbert 9 7-14 25, Murphy Doss 5 3-5 13. Totals 33 21-37 88.

Weaver 16 20 16 19 — 71
White Plains 23 19 19 27 — 88

3-point goals: Weaver 5 (Forbes 3, Copeland, Heath); White Plains 1 (McGuirk). Total fouls: Weaver 30, White Plains 26. Fouled out: Heath, Moore, Coleman, Jackson.

Jacksonville 73, Etowah 67

JACKSONVILLE – Sid Thurmond 5-13 3-6 17, Savon Parker 6-8 2-2 14, Cam Horton 6-17 1-4 14, Rivan Hill 4-5 0-0 10, Tae Ackles 2-7 0-0 6, Casey Trull 1-1 2-2 4. Ben Jaskowski 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 25-52 8-15 67.

ETOWAH – Andreas Waker 7-10 2-4 19, Labradford Britton 6-13 1-2 15, Denzel Aaron 5-9 0-0 13, Jalen Williams 5-9 2-3 12, Alvin Bolton 2-11 0-0 6, Stacy Williams 2-4 0-0 5, Zane Mathis 1-1 0-0 3, Sean Nunn 0 0-0 0, Kordell Rudolph 0 0-0 0, Joseph Green 0 0-0 0, Frederick Moore 0-1 0-0 0, Andrew Noles 0 0-0 0. Totals 25-58 5-9 73.

Jacksonville 16 18 21 12 — 67
Etowah 21 16 20 16 — 73

3-point goals: Jacksonville 9-24 (Thurmond 4-10, Horton 1-8, Hill 2-3, Ackles 2-3); Etowah 12-28 (Waker 3-4, Britton 2-6, Aaron 3-4, Bolton 2-10, Williams 1-2, Mathis 1-1, Moore 0-1). Rebounds: Jacksonville 38 (Parker 11) Etowah 30 (Waker, Aaron 5). Total fouls: Jacksonville 13, Etowah 18.

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