E.A. Sports Today

White Plains survives quick turnaround

Some 10 hours after an intense game, Wildcats rise for tests, new game

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – After playing an emotionally draining game the night before with a quick turnaround Saturday, White Plains coach Chris Randall was “very concerned” about his team’s ability to bounce back.

It was less than 18 hours after the third-ranked Wildcats’ closing-seconds area win over Jacksonville, but they came into Pete Mathews Coliseum with a plan and had little trouble dispatching Fyffe 74-54 in the second game of the Holiday Hoops Challenge.

As if the physical drain of back-to-back games weren’t enough, three Wildcats – Nathan Gilbert, Kevin Carr and Dillon Greenwood – spent the morning in Gadsden taking the ACT.

“My brain was hurtin’,” Gilbert said.

That wasn’t the only place that hurt above the neckline. The Wildcats’ senior post and game-high scorer with 21 points crumbled to the floor after taking a shot on the left side of his face with 5:19 to play. He emerged from the training room with a bandage on the side of his nose and a puffy left eye, but the cut required no stitches.

The Wildcats (9-2) were going to know the effects of the previous night’s game early. They came out with high intensity, but Randall also was determined to play 10 players in the first four minutes.

“Today we laid out all the things we could recognize as obstacles and we’re going to overcome them anyway,” Randall said. “We threw them in the deep end – you’re either going to swim or drown – which made our guys come with some energy and enthusiasm. I think that helped us out with our start.”

If their legs were going to go, it would’ve been in the second half, but they made three 3-pointers in the quarter to extend their 10-point halftime lead to 16. They had none against Jacksonville and went six quarters without making one.

“We hadn’t made a 3 in a month of Sundays so were able to knock a few down; so we were happy about that,” Randall said.

Actually, it was Fyffe that’s been trying to get back in basketball shape. The Red Devils (0-2) are only a week removed from winning a 2A state football championship and were playing only their second game of the season.

Jerod Guthrie picked up the scoring when Gilbert went out. He scored seven points in the fourth quarter, 15 in the second half and 19 in the game.

Cover photo: White Plains coach Chris Randall (L) looks for an explanation from senior post Nathan Gilbert during Saturday’s game.

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