E.A. Sports Today

In the zone

Faith’s McCord goes for career-high 39 points in tournament win over Ohatchee

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

HEFLIN – Caleb McCord was in one of those zones Tuesday a player waits a lifetime to be in and once inside he hopes never to leave.

Everything the Faith Christian junior put up in the Lions’ 76-61 victory over Ohatchee in the Cleburne County Holiday Invitational seemed to find the bottom of the net – 3-pointers, runners through traffic in the lane. There were times he was the Lions’ offense.

“I was definitely feeling it,” he said. “I just started shooting the ball and it was falling so I kept doing it. I definitely felt hot.”

McCord scored a career high 39 points. That’s nearly four times his season average and 16 points more than his previous three games combined.

And he would’ve had 40 if he hadn’t been on the line for two 3s in the second quarter when, by the way, he scored Faith’s first 19 points, or made two free throws after being inserted back into the game with 20 seconds to play.

As it was, he hit 13 field goals, four from 3-point range, and was 9 of 12 from the foul line. His previous career high was 20 against Ragland five games ago. He had 24 in a first half coach Bradley Dawson called “the best half of basketball we’ve played this season.”

The Lions (11-6) needed somebody to produce. Two of their top scorers, Logan Williamson and Josiah McDaniel, were mired in early foul trouble.

“It felt good because I hadn’t been hot like that in a long time,” McCord said. “I felt like I kind of lost my shot for a while, so I just kept shooting. It felt good knowing my team needed me to step up and I definitely answered the call.”

The 39 points are believed to be the most in Cleburne County’s gym this season. It’s certainly the most by a Calhoun County player there, topping the 36 Saks’ Quen Williams put on the host school in an area game two weeks ago.

They are the most by a Faith player since Zach Owens put up 41 in a 2010 Calhoun County Tournament game against Weaver. The most Faith assistant Brad Yarbrough remembers seeing in the building was 41 by Rocky Hayes and he should know having played for the Tigers in the middle part of the previous decade. By the way, the most he remembers ever scoring in the building was 34.

Actually, it was Yarbrough who had a biggest influence on McCord’s big game.

“He really talked me up this game,” McCord said. “He sat me down before the game and was helping me, so I think that really inspired me to play well.

“He just told me I’m one of the best shooters that he’s seen when I’m hot and just shoot the ball and not let myself get to me.”

(Cover photo: Caleb McCord (10) was all smiles after having a career day against Ohatchee.)

Faith Christian 76, Ohatchee 61

OHATCHEE – Ben Glass 0 2-4 2, Micah Lee 0 4-on 4 4, John Noel 2 0-0 4, Blaine Cole 0 0-0 0, Owen Hale 0 0-0 0, Austin Tucker 6 8-11 21, Christian Rouse 0 0-0 0, Brian Jennings 2 1-5 5, Tristan Woodall 5 3-7 15, C.J. Ray 3 4- 10. Totals 18 22-33 61.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (11-6) – Ryan Crosby 2 2-2 8, Jordan Griswald 4 4-6 15, Logan Williamson 2 1-2 5, Caleb McCord 13 9-12 39, Grant Martin 0 0-0 0, Owen McWhorter 1 0-0 3, Josiah McDaniel 2 0-0 4, Alex Taylor 0 2-2 2, Julien Key 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 18-24 76.

Ohatchee 6 16 14 25 — 61
Faith Christian 21 21 18 16 — 76

3-point goals: Ohatchee 3 (Tucker, Woodall 2); Faith Christian 10 (Crosby 2, Griswald 3, McCord 4, McWhorter). Total fouls: Ohatchee 22, Faith Christian 29. Fouled out: Williamson, McDaniel.

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