E.A. Sports Today

White Plains survives big scare

Boys County Tournament, Day 2: No. 2 seed rallies from 19 down; Piedmont, Alexandria survive as well

Wellborn's Landon Machristie and White Plains' Murphy Doss (32) fight for control of the ball during their game Monday. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

Wellborn’s Landon Machristie and White Plains’ Murphy Doss (32) fight for control of the ball during their game Monday. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Records can be deceptive. Just ask second-seeded White Plains who had to fight for its Calhoun County Boys Tournament lives against a gritty, young and dangerous Wellborn team, coming from 19 points down to take an 80-70 victory.

The Panthers have been battling adversity all season, losing close game after close game with less than a full complement and no one gave them much of a chance against one of the county’s most complete teams as the 15th seed. Well, it wasn’t so much a seed as it was their draw out of a hat.

However, Wellborn came to play and shocked the crowd at Pete Matthews Coliseum early as they opened a 37-18 lead. Sophomores Jordan Montgomery and Blake Hanson hit three 3-pointers each and juniors Quandarious Moore and Dontavious Miller each had one in the stunning first-half performance.

“I was actually shocked,” Wellborn coach Beau Winn said of his team’s big early lead.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, had a different feeling altogether.

“I was thinking it was going to be embarrassing for a No. 2 team to lose to a 15; it’d probably be the first time in the history that would happen,” White Plains guard Jerod Guthrie said. “Then I thought how practices were going to be the next couple days. It’s a relief (to have won). I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at all tonight.”

The reeling Wildcats (19-4) were in a deep hole, but coach Chris Randall told his players not to panic. They began to climb back with a 10-point run that got them within three, but the Panthers (5-11) pulled back out to a 48-40 halftime lead.

“There are no 19-point plays; we had to take it a basket at a time,” Guthrie said.

In the second half White Plains would make a runs and the Panthers would pull back ahead. They led 65-60 with 6:55 to go after Hanson scored five straight points.

But they would miss six free throws down the stretch and Guthrie scored 16 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to help White Plains catch up and complete the comeback. Murphy Doss scored 10 of his 25 points in the third quarter.

”As long as we hunt paint we’re going to score because they can’t stop us when we hunt paint,” Doss said. “It just comes back to playing as a team. Whenever we start playing as a team, we start doing better. We never really get mad at each other, we just keep playing.”

Wellborn’s Hanson led all scorers with 28 points; he had 18 in the first half. Montgomery only had six of his 22 in the second half as he ran into foul trouble and was saddled to the bench for long periods at a time. The Panthers have suffered at least four losses this year after holding double-digit leads.

“Losing is never fun but these kids … fight their tails off,” Winn said. “This is our second year in a row we’ve been behind the 8-ball (with the draw); I thought our boys handled it better than I did. They came out like it was just another day, but Coach Randall came out in the second half and did a good job of putting pressure on our guards and we didn’t get as good of looks as we did in the first half.”

Bench, and-ones key to Cubs holding off Jax

Alexandria's Chance Williams (10) takes his defensive stance against Jacksonville's Cam Horton.

Alexandria’s Chance Williams (10) takes his defensive stance against Jacksonville’s Cam Horton.

Top-seeded Alexandria coverted three straight and-ones from some lesser-known players in their lineup in a 67-second stretch over the third and fourth quarters that allowed it to take control of its 71-60 win over Jacksonville.

The Valley Cubs were leading by only three, 44-41, when they started adding points without the clock moving. Chance Williams got it started with a four-point play with 29.6 seconds left in the third. Before the stretch was over, Austin Wells had a three-point play as did Ronnie Royal, who rebounded a missed second free throw by Williams.

The Cubs never led by less than eight after that.

“Just knocking down all those and-ones was definitely big – and from our bench players,” Williams said.

The Cubs’ bench outscored Jacksonville 28-5. Among the non-starters, Riley Shaw had seven and Williams and Luke Tucker had five each. They had four of the Cubs’ seven 3-pointers among them. Alton Davis led their scorers with 13 points.

“Our bench has done that all year,” Cubs coach Jason Johnson said. “I don’t know which one is going to be called upon. We’ve got 15 guys who can be called upon and we just try to tell them to be ready and when your name gets called get out there and do the job. And our bench really did the job tonight, I thought saved us.”

Jacksonville’s Cam Horton seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself on the big stage especially early in the game and led all scorers with 24 points. Sid Thurmond added 16. Eight other Golden Eagles combined for 20 points. – Al Muskewitz

Piedmont holds off Weaver

Piedmont coach Tommy Lewis (L) seeks an explanation from official Earl Warren for the additional second placed on the clock at the end of their game with Weaver.

Piedmont coach Tommy Lewis (L) seeks an explanation from official Earl Warren for the additional second placed on the clock at the end of their game with Weaver.

Piedmont saw a 10-point lead late in the game shrink to two, then survived a frantic final few seconds to escape with a 62-59 win.

It was a two-point game in the closing seconds when Weaver thought it had gained a five-second turnover underneath its offensive basket. The Bulldogs (15-9) were able to call time, another second was added to the clock – taking it to 2.6 seconds – and Taylor Hayes made one of two free throws to bring the final margin.

Weaver had a desperation shot at the buzzer that missed the mark.

Hayes and Easton Kirk led Piedmont with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Paul Hubbard led Weaver (11-12) with 16. Craig Copleland added 14 and Delo Forbes had 11.

“We cannot make so many mistakes on the offensive end and expect to win the game,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said.

Colorful Weaver guard Delo Forbes. (Photo by Bridget Merriman).

Colorful Weaver guard Delo Forbes. (Photo by Bridget Merriman).

CALHOUN COUNTY BOYS TOURNAMENT BOX SCORES

Piedmont 62, Weaver 59

PIEDMONT (15-9) — Darnell Jackson 1 5-12 7, Taylor Hayes 4 6-14 16, Tyler Lusk 4 0-0 9, Easton Kirk 4 0-0 12, Cardavian Myers 0 0-0 0, Malik Gamble 0 0-0 0, Bayley Blanchard 4 1-5 9, Austin Brazier 2 3-3 7, Neonta Alexander 0 0-0 0, C.J. Savage 1 0-4 3. Totals 20 15-38 62.

WEAVER (11-12) — Delo Forbes 2 6-10 11, Jalen Heath 3 1-1 8, Craig Copeland 7 0-0 14, Paul Hubbard 6 4-5 16, Elliott Moore 3 2-7 8, R.J. Wooden 0 0-0 0, Cameron Lynch 0 0-2 0, Malik Arnold 0 2-2 2, Marcus Sanders 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21 15-27 59.

Piedmont 11 14 13 24 — 62
Weaver 9 8 14 28 — 59

3-point goals: Piedmont 7 (Hayes, Lusk, Kirk 4); Weaver 2 (Forbes, Heath). Total fouls: Piedmont 23, Weaver 30. Fouled out: Jackson, Forbes, Arnold. Officials: Warren, Roberts, Smith.

White Plains 80, Wellborn 70

WELLBORN (5-11) – Alquinarious Parker 1 0-0 2, Kevin Mixon 0 1-4 1, Corri Tignor 4 3-14 11, Landon Machristie 0 1-2 1, Jordan Montgomery 9 0-0 22, Dontavious Miller 2 0-0 5, Quandarious Moore 0 0-2 0, Brett Hanson 7 10-11 28, Kendarious Weatherly 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 15-33 70.

WHITE PLAINS (19-4) — Jerod Guthrie 7 7-8 23, Dillon Greenwood 0 0-0 0, Kevin Carr 1 0-0 3, Eli Hightower 1 0-0 3, Michael McGuirk 5 1-2 14, Jackson Guthrie 0 0-0 0, Lawrence Jackson 1 2-3 4, Nathan Gilbert 1 6-10 8, Murphy Doss 9 7-10 25. Totals 25 23-33 80.

Wellborn 23 25 12 10 — 70
White Plains 16 24 18 22 — 80

3-point goals: Wellborn 9 (Montgomery 4, Miller, Hanson 4); White Plains 7 (Je. Guthrie 2, Carr, Hightower, McGuirk 3). Total fouls: Wellborn 21, White Plains 23. Officials: Stringer, Johnson, Holmes.

Alexandria 71, Jacksonville 60

JACKSONVILLE (9-12) — Cam Horton 9-18 4-5 24, Sid Thurmond 5-13 5-11 16, Savon Parker 2-6 2-2 6, Martavious Long 2-4 0-0 5, Rivan Hill 1-3 2-2 4, Taye Ackles 1-3 0-0 3, Aaron Bragg 1-1 0-0 2, Ben Jaskowski 0-0 0-0 0, Casey Trull 0-0 0-0 0, Tristan Yates 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-48 13-20 60.

ALEXANDRIA (16-4) — Alton Davis 4-8 5-11 13, Ronnie Royal 4-5 1-1 9, Nick Porter 3-7 0-0 9, Riley Shaw 2-3 1-3 7, Tyrelle Gay 1-5 4-10 6, Dakota Kelley 2-6 2-4 6, Luke Tucker 1-5 2-4 5, Chance Williams 1-2 2-3 5, Marcus Swink 2-2 0-2 4, Austin Wells 1-1 1-1 3, Caleb Young 1-6 0-0 2, Cole Nail 0-0 2-2 2, Darrin Caver 0-0 0-0 0, Kevin Swink 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Woodward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 20-41 71.

Jacksonville 10 12 19 19 — 60
Alexandria 16 15 20 20 — 71

3-point goals: Jacksonville 5-17 (Horton 2-8, Thurmond 1-5, Long 1-1, Hill 0-1, Ackles 1-2); Alexandria 7-16 (Porter 3-4, Shaw 2-3, Gay 0-3, Kelley 0-1, Tucker 1-2, Williams 1-2, Young 0-1). Rebounds: Jacksonville 33 (Thurmond 7, Long 6); Alexandria 41 (Gay 9). Total fouls: Jacksonville 26, Alexandria 15. Fouled out: Horton, Long, Ackles. Technical fouls: Alexandria bench (Johnson). Officials: Miller, Hollingsworth, Gilbert.

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

First-round games
No. 8 Jacksonville 70, No. 9 Jacksonville Christian 38
No. 5 Saks 73, No. 12 Pleasant Valley 20
No. 4 Anniston 74, No. 13 Ohatchee 30
No. 3 Sacred Heart 70, No. 14 Donoho 29
No. 6 Oxford 67, No. 11 Faith Christian 36
No. 10 Piedmont 62, No. 7 Weaver 59
No. 2 White Plains 80, No. 15 Wellborn 70

Second-round games
No. 1 Alexandria 71, Jacksonville 60
Saks vs. Anniston, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart vs. Oxford, Wednesday, 5 p.m.
Piedmont vs. White Plains, Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Semifinal games
Alexandria vs. Saks-Anniston winner, Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart-Oxford winner vs. Piedmont-White Plains winner, Friday, 8:30 p.m.

Championship game
Saturday, 8 p.m.

Wellborn's Kevin Mixon (L) wrestles for a loose ball with White Plains' Murphy Doss. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)

Wellborn’s Kevin Mixon (L) wrestles for a loose ball with White Plains’ Murphy Doss. (Photo by Bridget Merriman)



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