E.A. Sports Today

Guthrie’s FTs lift Wildcats

Boys roundup: Sophomore guard comes off bench to score 22, 20 in second half

Faith Christian's Logan Williamson (5) looks to inbounds the ball in the Lions' win over Ranburne. On the cover, White Plains' Jerod Guthrie (3) sets a play in motion during a game earlier this season. Both players were scoring stars for their teams Monday.

Faith Christian’s Logan Williamson (5) looks to inbounds the ball in the Lions’ win over Ranburne. On the cover, White Plains’ Jerod Guthrie (3) sets a play in motion during a game earlier this season. Both players were scoring stars for their teams Monday.

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By East Alabama Sports Today

FREEPORT, Fla. – The free throws that gave White Plains fits in its opening game of the Sandestin Beach Blowout on Saturday proved the difference in keeping the Wildcats around for another game.

Jerod Guthrie capped a monster second half with two free throws with 7.9 seconds left Monday to give White Plains a 57-56 victory over Buckhorn (Ky.). The second-ranked Wildcats were 9 for 11 from the foul line in the game after going 5 of 18 in their opening-round loss to undefeated Paxton (Fla.).

“It was the difference in the game,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “Every free throw, every possession, every loose ball was like a touchdown. To be able to step to the line in a big situation and knock them down … it was huge.

“Nathan (Gilbert) was 5-for-6 from the line; I’m not even going to tell you what he was Saturday. But today he just had a bounce in his step and looked like he wanted to be at the free throw line. That’s a senior who was disappointed in himself and wanted to be back in that position and made them today.

“And then Jerod knocked down the big two, and there was never any doubt he was going to make them. We talked about what we were going to do after he made them, that’s how confident we were he was knocking them down.”

Guthrie, a sophomore point guard who didn’t start, scored 22 points in the game, with 20 coming in the second half, 12 in the fourth quarter. Gilbert kept the Wildcats in it in the first half, taking advantage of the early foul trouble of Buckhorn’s bigs to score 14 of his 18.

“He had a ‘Meet Coach Randall’ meeting after Saturday’s game,” Randall said of Guthrie. “His toughness and body language had been a problem, so we were working on some things. We brought him off the bench and he responded like a champ.”

Dillon Greenwood made what Randall called “the biggest bucket of the game” moments earlier when the senior captain got a defender off his feet and laid one in to the tie game with a minute left.

“He was the best shortstop in that game today,” Randall said. “There was not a better middle infielder in that game, not a better contact hitter in that game. If we had been playing baseball, it’d been all eyes on him. He took one shot and it was the biggest shot of the game.”

Buckhorn did hit one of two free throws to take a 56-55 lead before Guthrie’s heroics. Guthrie was fouled after he fought through a maze of players for an offensive rebound and put-back.

“The free throws, that was easy,” Randall said. “It’s what he did to get to the free throw line was the key.”

The Wildcats (12-3) play Pleasant Grove Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. The game will be carried on WTDR-FM 92.7.

Faith Christian 66, Ranburne 50

HEFLIN – The theme of the day was good defense, but Logan Williamson also tied his season high with six 3-pointers and the Lions won easily in the Cleburne County Holiday Invitational.

Williamson finished with a game-high 23 points. He hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter as the Lions opened an 18-5 lead. He also added a nice move along the baseline in the fourth quarter to show his increasing ability to create off the dribble.

“I tried not to focus much on offense today,” Williamson said. “Coach has really been getting on to us about defense, so we just went out there and played hard on defense and it got the offense going.

“I was feeling a little more confidence because the defensive end was giving me a little more adrenaline.”

Josiah McDaniel had 13 points for Faith (10-6) and Jordan Griswald added 10. Dylan Wiggins led Ranburne (2-6) with 10 points.

Ohatchee 55, Pleasant Valley 38

HEFLIN – Austin Tucker scored 19 points and Brian Jennings enjoyed a double-double as the Indians have now won four of their last seven.

Jennings had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Micah Lee added 12 boards and eight boards. Matthew Parker led PV with 13 points.

Alexandria 81, Ragland 51

GLENCOE – The Valley Cubs enjoyed another outing in which they jumped on their opponent early and got to clear their bench.

Dakota Kelley scored 25 points and Riley Shaw had 11, but the Cubs got contributions from a lot of places.

“I’m just happy with the way we’re playing,” Cubs coach Jason Johnson said. “It’s intense every game, not taking nights off and deciding not to play hard. We are taking care of business.”

Enough, perhaps, to be the top seed in the Calhoun County Tournament later this month? The Cubs do have the early lead after the first few days of voting in East Alabama Sports Today fan poll for tournament No. 1.

“That’s going to be pretty interesting,” Johnson said. “I think there are seven teams that could easily get the No. 1 seed. There could be six or seven teams that could legitimately have a claim to being the best team.”

Sacred Heart 66, Grady 58

MONTGOMERY – Diante Wood enjoyed his third straight double-double of the tournament as the Cardinals posted their second win at the Dwight Madison Classic.

Wood had 18 points, 14 rebounds and three assists. He averaged 17.3 points and nearly 13 rebounds a game in games against Southside-Selma, No. 2-6A Carver-Montgomery and Grady (Ga.).

Kevion Nolan also scored 18 points for the Cardinals (10-8), while adding six rebounds and three steals. D.J. Heath was their leading scorer with 24 points.

Anniston 65, Prattville 45

MONTGOMERY – Tray Croft scored 25 points and dished passes that produced six other baskets to the lead Bulldogs in the Dwight Madison Classic.

The Bulldogs (6-5) were active throughout the game and led 23-16 at halftime. Marrio Dobbins had 10 points, DeQuan Ross had nine points and 10 rebounds and Emmanual James had nine points and 11 boards.

Talladega 78, Talladega County Central 49

TALLADEGA – The Tigers put the finishing touches on a Talladega Christmas Round Robin title with another one-sided victory.

Josh Madden led all scorers with 20 points, while D’Angelo Scales added 17. Desmond Green, Ohyja Garrett, Jay Smoot and Josh Wilson combined for 30. Wilson grabbed nine rebounds.

Cherokee County 47, Arab 42

ALBERTVILLE – The top-ranked Warriors bounced back from their first loss of the season in the Albertville Civitan Christmas Classic. Quartez Henderson led with 15 points, while three others scored eight each.


Faith Christian 66, Ranburne 50

RANBURNE (2-6) – Owen Smith 2 2-3 7, Levi Godsin 1 4-5 7, Braden Wilson 4 0-2 9, Dylan Wiggins 4 1-3 10, Jared Brown 1 2-2 4, Tristan Hartley 1 0-0 2, Logan Sibley 3 2-5 8, Spence Florczek 0 0-0 0, Trent Williams 1 0-0 2, Blake Young 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 12-22 50.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (10-6) – Ryan Crosby 0 3-4 3, Jordan Griswald 3 4-10 10, Logan Williams 7 3-5 23, Caleb McCord 3 2-2 8, Josiah McDaniel 3 7-11 13, Alex Taylor 4 0-0 9, Julien Key 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 19-32 66.

Ranburne 5 18 12 15 — 50
Faith Christian 18 18 16 14 — 66

3-point goals: Ranburne 4 (Smith, Godsin, Wilson, Wiggins); Faith Christian 7 (Williamson 6, Taylor). Total fouls: Ranburne 27, Faith Christian 21. Fouled out: Young.

Cedar Bluff 84, Wellborn 74
Donoho 63, Jacksonville Christian 45
Weaver 62, Haralson County (Ga.) 53

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