E.A. Sports Today

Backcourt ‘twins’ lead PV

Girls County Tournament, Day 2: PV, White Plains, Anniston, Jacksonville all win

Pleasant Valley's Atleigh Brannon (5) puts the ball in play against Sacred Heart. On the front, backcourt mate Tiffany Williams brings the ball up the floor. (Special photos)

Pleasant Valley’s Atleigh Brannon (5) puts the ball in play against Sacred Heart. On the front, backcourt mate Tiffany Williams brings the ball up the floor. (Special photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — They aren’t really twins – heck, they aren’t even related — but the backcourt twins at Pleasant Valley were at it again Monday in the Calhoun County Girls Basketball Tournament.

Most of the good teams in the county have at least two quality players to lead their lineups, and the Raiders are no exception. Guards Tiffany Williams and Atleigh Brannon combined for 30 points as PV swamped host Sacred Heart 62-30 in their opening-round game at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

“In my opinion that’s the best two in the county; I’d put those two up against any other two-guard combination in the county,” Raiders coach Jeremy Wallace said. “They put up numbers. They work hard on defense. They’re good team leaders. They take us to another level, no doubt.”

They were clearly head and shoulders above everyone in the first quarter. They combined for 21 of PV’s 22 points in the period.

“We just work really well together,” Williams said. “She’s like my little twin. They were in zone so we just kept working it around and hopefully score.”

There were patches of blue flashing by as each player would feed the other on long half-court passes to beat the Cardinals down the court for easy layups or a good look at 3.

Even before the game the Raiders showed themselves a very colorful crew.

They have a unique warm-up jersey that is setting the fashion trend for girls basketball teams in the county. It features a unique green-and-gray military design with the light blue Pleasant Valley logo across the front.

“I thought it was a great look and really goes well with our blue,” Wallace said. “It is like anything else: If we win everybody likes it and if we lose then they don’t want it.”

Look for more of it. The win Monday sends the Raiders to face a team with another dynamic duo – Ohatchee’s Morgan Lee and Joria Steger. It will be the fourth game between the teams this year. The Indians have won the last two meetings, in the Cleburne County holiday tournament and a 20-point rout last Tuesday.

Ohatchee was missing Lee in that last game and PV played without Kara Perry, whose play in the post against Steger will be key for Wallace.

But for his money, Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn knows where his defensive priority lies.

“You’ve got to stop those two,” he said of Williams and Brannon. “It’s going to be how much pressure we can put on them and hope they miss a few shots.

“Of all the teams we play, PV always puzzles me the most about how to guard them. I always get nervous about how 1 and 5 are going to play.”

Tiffany Williams flies down the lane for a layup against Sacred Heart. (Photo by Krista Walker)

Tiffany Williams flies down the lane for a layup against Sacred Heart. (Photo by Krista Walker)

Brant Locklier contributed to this report.

Wildcats go to Greenwood, swamp Wellborn

White Plains' Amber Greenwood tries to protect the basketball during a game earlier this season. (Photo by Micaela Truett)

White Plains’ Amber Greenwood tries to protect the basketball during a game earlier this season. (Photo by Micaela Truett)

Amber Greenwood is White Plains’ leading scorer and she took control early in leading the Wildcats to a 49-18 victory.

Greenwood, the only senior on the team, can shoot the 3, get on the boards and has a variety of mid-range jump shots that are deadly contributing to her nearly 18-point scoring average. She had 21 against the Panthers before hitting the bench midway through the fourth quarter.

“Amber is our go-to person,” head coach Michael Merriman said. ”Everybody knows that, but she still gets her points and she had a big game for us today.”

Sophomore Shelby Wood is equally as important to the Wildcats’ offense. You can easily see the intensity on her face as she battles on every single play. She dives for loose balls on the floor, drives to the basket using either hand for lay-ups and dishes out assists.

Her defense is improving every game and, along with sophomore guard Korie Burgess, created huge problems for the Wellborn guards with steals leading to easy baskets.

“Shelby just needs to develop some consistency in her game,” Merriman said. “When she plays like she did tonight we are hard to beat.”

Jacksonville rolls over JCA

Just as it is expected to do until a presumptive meeting with Anniston in the final, top-seeded Jacksonville had an easy time with its Calhoun County Tournament opponent.

It was only their tournament opener, but the Golden Eagles dispatched Jacksonville Christian 74-37.

They led 21-5 at the end of the first quarter and scored at least that many in each of the first three quarters.

Coach Ryan Chambless played everybody on his roster at least six minutes and nobody played more than 17:30. Nine players scored, led by Virginia Poe’s 18 and Darrien Martin’s 16. Poe and Sierra Stone both had nine rebounds.

The Golden Eagles (18-3) scored 23 points off the 25 turnovers they created and they had 33 second-chance points. Joeley Cupp led JCA (14-7) with 14 points.

Bullock will take the win, but would prefer better defense

That's the kind of defense Anniston coach Eddie Bullock likes to see as Davia Palmer (15) and Carsheuna Curry challenge a Saks shooter. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

That’s the kind of defense Anniston coach Eddie Bullock likes to see as Davia Palmer (15) and Carsheuna Curry challenge a Saks shooter. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

No one expected the Anniston-Saks game to be typical of a 2-15 seeded game and it didn’t disappoint.

The Wildcats, a better team than the 15th slot it drew out of a hat, played like a team with something to prove and gave second-seeded Anniston all it could handle in a game the Bulldogs eventually won, 60-47.

Every time Anniston bolted out to a seemingly comfortable lead, the Wildcats would rally to close the gap. It was a four-point game in the fourth quarter before the Bulldogs pulled away for good.

Kiyana Bullock took advantage of her mismatch as much as the Bulldogs would let her but did a lot of work on her own and scored 25 points. Miajah Bullock went for 16.

Saks led after the first quarter 10-9. It was the first time Anniston can given up double-digits in a quarter in 17 periods. Jordan Briskey led the Wildcats with 20 points.

“We got a win, but I think we really didn’t perform defensively like we should have,” Anniston coach Eddie Bullock said. “We’ve got to go and work on defense.

“I knew they were a much better team than a 15th seed, but at the same time … we just didn’t play defense like we should have.”

After the loss, Saks coach Michelle Lively turned her attention to the bigger prize, which is contender for its area title, a league that includes tournament top seed and state ranked Jacksonville.

“I felt like we had enough players who could play his players one-on-one and anybody could win,” Lively said. “We don’t normally play a full-court man the whole entire game and we did tonight … but no matter who you play, free throws, layups and rebounds, you give those things you, anybody can beat you.”

It looks like there's going to be a held ball in this pileup during the Anniston-Saks game. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

It looks like there’s going to be a held ball in this pileup during the Anniston-Saks game. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

GIRLS BOX SCORES

Pleasant Valley 62, Sacred Heart 30

SACRED HEART — Zainab Sanusi 5 1-2 11, Anna Kerper 1 0-0 2, Jayla Woods 0 0-0 0, Jarece Tillery 3 1-2 7, Megan Lott 3 1-2 7, Monique Oblena 1 1-2 3, Christiana Stephens 0 0-0 0, Jacque Beyerle 0 0-0 0, Morgan Callaway 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-8 30.

PLEASANT VALLEY (13-11) — Kara Perry 4 0-3 8, Tiffany Williams 6 4-6 17, McKinley Parris 3 1-2 9, Atleigh Brannon 4 4-4 13, Bailey Turner 2 0-0 4, Kaylee Lawler 1 0-2 2, Kaitlyn Strickland 0 1-3 1, Emily Cochran 0 2-2 2, Hailey Taylor 0 0-0 0, Mikala Simpson 2 0-0 4, Baily Scott 0 0-0 0, Courtney Upton 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 12-22 62.

Sacred Heart 2 8 13 7 — 30
Pleasant Valley 22 15 13 11 — 62

3-point goals: Pleasant Valley 4 (Williams, Parris 2, Brannon). Total fouls: Sacred Heart 18, Pleasant Valley 10. Officials: Hughes, Wright, Wilson.

White Plains 49, Wellborn 18

WELLBORN – Dymond Myles 4 0-0 8, Anaya Lowe 2 0-0 4, Loni Welch 0 0-0 0, Markeisha Jones 1 0-0 2, Carlee Mullinax 0 0-0 0, Valencia White 0 0-0 0, Caitlin Gamble 1 0-0 2, Katie Hafley 0 0-0 0, Dynasty Myles 0 0-0 0, Jessica Cooper 0 0-0 0, Desirae Traylor 0 0-0 0, Chelsea Hubbard 1 0-0 2. Totals: 9 0-0 18.

WHITE PLAINS – Rian Chandler 0 1-2 1, Carley Wood 1 1-2 3, Hannah Barno 0 0-0 0, Korie Burgess 2 2-2 6, Ann Katherine Dothard 0 1-2 1, Chasity Nelson 0 0-0 0, Amber Greenwood 8 2-2 21, Greg Young 0 0-0 0, Shelby Wood 4 3-4 12, Landry Bussey 1 2-4 4, Mary Clare Young 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 12-18 49.

Wellborn 2 6 8 2 — 18
White Plains 17 10 10 12 — 49

3-point goals: White Plains 3 (Greenwood 3). Total fouls: Wellborn 16, White Plains 3. Officials: Batey, Hayes, Preston.

Anniston 60, Saks 47

SAKS — Talisa Christian 1 0-0 2, Tayler Teague 0 2-2 2, Aliyah Simmons 0 0-0 0, Jordan Briskey 6 7-10 20, Maiya Northard 0 2-4 2, Parris Glover 0 0-0 0, Miracle Dennard 0 0-0 0, Teetee Jenkins 5 4-5 14, Bre Browning 2 0-0 4, Daja Johnson 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 15-21 47.

ANNISTON — Miajah Bullock 7 0-2 16, Raven Cooley 3 6-8 13, Carlina Welch 0 0-0 0, Davia Palmer 1 2-2 4, Takia Shears 0 0-0 0, Carsheuna Curry 0 2-2 2, Kiyana Bullock 9 7-8 25, Jemya Bullock 0 0-2 0. Totals 20 17-24 60.

Saks 10 7 16 14 — 47
Anniston 9 16 13 22 — 60

3-point goals: Saks 2 (Briskey, Johnson); Anniston 3 (M. Bullock 2, Cooley). Total fouls: Saks 18, Anniston 18. Fouled out: Curry. Officials: Allen, Oliver, Watson.

Jacksonville 74, Jacksonville Christian 37

JACKSONVILLE CHRISTIAN (14-7) — Joeley Cupp 4-9 5-10 14, Jordan Barnes 3-12 6-6 12, Josie Howell 0-2 5-6 5, Kayla Barnes 1-4 0-0 3, Sarah Crook 0-3 2-7 2, Briah Cupp 0-4 1-4 1, Raiah Espana 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 8-36 19-33 37.

JACKSONVILLE (18-3) – Virginia Poe 7-10- 3-5 18, Darrien Martin 8-13 0-1 16, Destiny Easley 3-7 3-6 10, Angel Kidd 4-11 0-0 8, Kyra Williams 3-5 2-4 8, Sierra Stone 2-10 0-0 4, Nicole Goodson 2-6 0-0 4, Dasia Kirksey 1-8 2-3 4, Brandi Canady 1-2 0-0 2, Aniyah Robinson 0-0 0-0 0, Quenteeria Mooney 0-1 0-0 0, Kelsey Ervin 0-0 0-0 0, Atalyia Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Malieah Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Tatiyana Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-73 11-19 74.

JCA 5 15 7 10 — 37
Jacksonville 21 25 24 4 — 74

3-point goals: JCA 3-7 (Cupp 1-2, J. Barnes 0-3, K. Barnes 1-2); Jacksonville 1-5 (Poe 1-1, Martin 0-2, Easley 0-1, Mooney 0-1). Rebounds: JCA 30 (Howell 9), Jacksonville 53 (Poe 9, Stone 9). Total fouls: JCA 14, Jacksonville 24. Fouled out: K. Barnes. Officials: Stringer, Smith, Odell.

CALHOUN COUNTY GIRLS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
(All games at Pete Mathews Coliseum, Jacksonville)

First-round games
No. 8 Jacksonville Christian 47, No. 9 Weaver 43
No. 5 Oxford 64, No. 12 Faith Christian 40
No. 4 Piedmont 50, No. 13 Alexandria 32
No. 3 Ohatchee 61, No. 14 Donoho 20
No. 6 Pleasant Valley 62, No. 11 Sacred Heart 30
No. 10 White Plains 49, No. 7 Wellborn 18
No. 2 Anniston 60, No. 15 Saks 47

Second-round games
No. 1 Jacksonville 74, Jacksonville Christian 37
Oxford vs. Piedmont, Tuesday, 5 p.m.
Ohatchee vs. Pleasant Valley, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
White Plains winner vs. Anniston, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Semifinal games
Jacksonville vs. Oxford-Piedmont winner, Friday, 4 p.m.
Ohatchee-PV winner vs. White Plains-Anniston winner, Friday, 7 p.m.

Championship game
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

White Plains' Shelby Wood (22) gets tangled up with Wellborn's Carlee Mullinax. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

White Plains’ Shelby Wood (22) gets tangled up with Wellborn’s Carlee Mullinax. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)



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