E.A. Sports Today

Oxford wins thriller

Boys roundup also includes Wellborn, Lincoln-Ohatchee, Spring Garden

By East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD – At this point in the season Oxford coach Joel Van Meter implored his players to look inside themselves for something extra and two guards answered the call Monday night with the biggest shots.

Jacob Baker came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers in the first half, Kaleb Kidd hit a mid-range jumper with 18 seconds left and Oxford held its breath in the closing seconds to beat Chelsea 58-57 in its area opener.

Baker scored all his points on the first-half 3-pointers and Kidd finished with 10. Querrian Mason led Oxford with 18.

“I kept telling the guys how many shots we missed around the rim and we weren’t going to make every play and I thought there were times when we wanted to back away,” Van Meter said. “It was tough for the kids and I told them that somewhere inside they had to find some fight in themselves and they found it.”

Baker had made some big 3-pointers in the Jackets’ win over White Plains earlier this season, but has played sparingly. He went to Van Meter with his concerns and was assured his time would come. His five 3s in the first half fueled a 25-14 start that turned into a 35-26 halftime lead.

“I told him I hadn’t called your number but I’m going to and when I call it you need to be ready,” Van Meter said. “Tonight we called it and he was ready. That’s the type thing you need to happen with your team. Tonight he was a huge part of it.”

It might have gone for naught had the Jackets not found another dose of fortitude in the closing minute. Chelsea (9-9) had a four-point lead with just over a minute to play.

Kidd’s go-ahead basket came after a Jakolbie McClendon steal. Mason then stole it back but instead of running out the clock he went for a tomahawk dunk that surely would have sent the crowd home roaring and missed.

Instead of reveling in a spectacular game-sealing play, the Jackets had to play tough defense in the closing seconds and hold their breath until Chelsea’s wild desperation shot missed the mark.

Jefferson Christian 64, Wellborn 55

The visiting Eagles hit six 3-pointers in the first half to pull ahead and then hung on to beat a Panthers team just settling into its season.

Wellborn (5-6) cut an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to one, but then got caught on a couple fast breaks couldn’t recover. The Panthers also missed five free throws in the quarter while the Eagles (10-2) made four of five attempts.

Jalen Pullom’s 20 points led JCA to a 32-26 halftime lead and the Eagles stretched it 47-38 after three quarters. The Panthers got their deficit down to one as Corri Tignor and Blake Hanson went to the free throw line with drives to the basket and Jordan Montgomery dropped in a 3-pointer.

”It was back and forth in that fourth quarter and we got to within one and they got us with a couple of fast breaks,” Wellborn coach Beau Winn said. “I love these kids and they know it and it hurts to lose, but we are going keep fighting.”

The Panthers got a late start to the season due to the success of their football team and have had players miss for various football camps since, so they are just now starting to settle into a routine as they look to be a force come playoff time.

They have the pieces to be a factor — sophomores Hanson and Montgomery can shoot the 3 and senior Tignor is a beast on the inside. Landon Machristie gives them more strength on the inside and Kevin Mixon is steady at guard.

Tignor had 14 points and 13 rebounds Monday, while Hanson had 14 points, Montgomery 11 and Machristie 10. JCA’s Pullom led all scorers with 29 points.

“It is big for these kids to get back in school and into a routine, three good meals, practice and a schedule as we get ready for the second half of the season,” Winn said. “Our kids keep showing up and playing hard and it does not matter that the teams we are playing have all the college scouts looking at (their) players. The kids play hard no matter what.”

Lincoln 74, Ohatchee 41

LINCOLN – Austin Tucker scored 20 points for Ohatchee, but Lincoln pulled away from a close game by hitting eight of 11 3-pointers over the final 12 minutes.

The Indians trailed by seven at halftime and cut their deficit to four in the third quarter before the Bears started finding their range from outside. Micah Lee added 14 points for Ohatchee, while Brian Jennings pulled down 10 rebounds.

Collinsville 46, Spring Garden 43

SPRING GARDEN – Austin Posey scored 13 points, including a 3-pointer with 5:42 left in the third quarter that put Collinsville ahead for good, but it needed to hold off a fierce Spring Garden rally in the fourth to win this battle of Panthers.

Spring Garden (4-13) trailed by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter, but Dylan Rogers came off the bench to hit two 3-pointers in the last minute to bring it back. Missed free throws and a turnover gave the 1A Panthers a shot to send the game into overtime, but Rogers’ desperation 3 was contested and barely missed the mark.

Rogers and Ben Ivy each scored 11 points for Spring Garden.

BOYS BOX SCORES

Oxford 58, Chelsea 57

CHELSEA (9-9) — Joshua Pugh 2 0-0 4, Aaron Washngton 6 0-0 16, Joseph Lanzi 4 0-0 8, David Simpson 3 0-0 8, Matthew Marquet 1 0-0 2, Jeremy Wilson 1 0-0 3, William Welch 0 0-0 0, Darrell Foster 5 6-10 18. Totals 22 6-10 57.

OXFORD (6-12) – Kaleb Kidd 4 1-2 10, Jalen Moore 1 4-4 7, Querrian Mason 9 0-0 18, Jakolbie McClendon 3 0-0 6, Jacob Baker 5 0-0 15, Torry Robertson 1 0-0 3, Daunte Lauderdale 0 0-0 0, Blaize Brimer 0 0-0 0, Zachary Lackey 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 5-6 58.

Chelsea 11 15 14 17 — 57
Oxford 14 21 7 16 — 58

3-point goals: Chelsea 7 (Washington 4, Simpson 2, Wilson); Oxford 7 (Kidd, Robertson, Baker 5). Total fouls: Chelsea 11, Oxford 15.

Jefferson Christian 64, Wellborn 55

JEFFERSON CHRISTIAN (10-2) – Jalen Pullom 8 9-11 29, Steven Gordon 3 1-3 7, Phillip Lester 7 2-3 18, Drew Smith 1 0-0 3, Errol Chandler 2 0-0 4, David Hart 0 0-0 0, Tim Taggert 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 12818 64.

WELLBORN (5-6) – Kendarious Weatherly 0 0-0 0, Kevin Mixon 0 0-0 0, Corri Tignor 4 6-11 14, Landon Machristie 4 1-2 10, Jordan Montgomery 4 0-0 11, Dontavious Miller 2 0-0 6, Alquinarious Parker 0 0-0 0, Blake Hanson 5 3-4 14, Quandarious Moore 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 10-17 55.

Jeff Christian 11 21 15 16 — 64
Wellborn 14 12 12 17 — 55

3-point goals: Jeff Christian 7 (Pullom 4, Lester 2, Smith); Wellborn 7 (Machristie, Montgomery 3, Miller 2, Hanson). Total fouls: Jeff Christian 19, Wellborn 18.



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