E.A. Sports Today

Trull comes up big for J’ville

Junior comes off bench to give Golden Eagles a big lift against Weaver

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER — The missing piece to Jacksonville’s basketball team this season has been an inside presence. Not a consistent inside presence, an inside presence — period.

All season long the Golden Eagles’ fortunes rose and fell on the play of their guards, Cam Horton and Sid Thurmond. Getting anything else was hit or miss, mostly miss.

Casey Trull gave them the missing element Friday night in their 74-64 win over Weaver.

The 6-foot-7 junior came off the bench to score 10 points, grab seven rebounds and block four shots and did solid battle with Bearcats’ physical bigs Elliott Moore and Malik Arnold.

Horton scored 32 points for the Eagles and Thurmond had 19, but Trull clearly was the difference.

“I’ve been saying all along if can ever get some inside game to go with our guard play I feel like we’ll be pretty good,” Jacksonville coach Ryan Chambless said. “Casey pretty much swung the game tonight with his play.

“We desperately needed some inside play and I think he stepped it up tonight. I’d like to see that to continue.”

You’d figure a guy 6-7 would never be off the floor, but instead of getting more minutes in recent weeks Trull had been getting fewer and fewer for admittedly his own fault. He played 18 minutes Friday and clogged up the middle.

“I guess I just did better tonight, provided for the team,” the quiet Trull said. “I was just trying to get something done, make some kind of effort to help the team win.

“I could’ve been better — you can always get better — but I think I played better than normal because I knew I had to be aggressive against these guys.”

His emergence couldn’t have come at a better time for the Golden Eagles. They open their area tournament next week against a White Plains team that has one of the top post players in the county, senior Nathan Gilbert.

The game will send a good team packing. The winner will advance to the sub-regional and the loser is done.

“Casey played a huge factor for our team tonight,” Horton said. “He came in and rebounded. He came in and scored. He came in and played defense; a couple of blocked shots. That’s all we’ve been asking for him this whole year and he finally gave it to us tonight.

“If we can get that out of him we can be a pretty good team. That’s what we lack — big men — and he came in and really played his game tonight. He came to play. If he can do this every night we’ll be a good team. We are a good team, we lack bigs. He comes in and does that, we win.”

With Moore and Arnold controlling the inside, the Bearcats opened a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter. Trull was inserted into the game, he started scoring and clogging up the middle and the Bearcats’ bigs managed only eight points the rest of the game.

Arnold finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Moore had 11 points. Paul Hubbard had 13 points and eight assists.

The Bearcats actually lost their lead by being careless with the ball. They turned it over five times in a stretch of seven possessions without being forced, Jacksonville scored nine points off the miscues and stretched its lead to 12.

It was a frustrating night for the Bearcats. In a very public display of that frustration late in the fourth quarter, Weaver guard Delo Forbes whipped off his jersey and left the floor. Bearcats coach Daryl Hamby had no comment about the incident after the game.

“The biggest element was we turned the ball over, and that changed the whole way we approached things,” Hamby said. “When we started turning the ball over, we got out of what we did. Those were what I called unforced turnovers. You cannot turn the ball over like that.”

(Cover photo: Jacksonville’s Casey Trull (33) fronts Weaver’s Malik Arnold during their game Friday night. Trull came off the bench to score 10 points, grab seven rebounds and block four shots.)

Jacksonville 74, Weaver 64

JACKSONVILLE — Cam Horton 11-24 8-9 32, Sid Thurmond 7-15 4-6 19, Casey Trull 3-5 4-5 10, Taye Ackles 3-7 0-0 7, Savon Parker 2-4 0-0 4, Martavious Long 1-2 0-0 2, Tristan Yates 0-0 0-0 0, Rivan Hill 0-0 0-0 0, Ben Jaskowski 0-1 0-0 0, K.J. Satcher 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 16-20 74.

WEAVER — Malik Arnold 7-11 0-2 14, Paul Hubbard 5-8 3-3 13, Elliott Moore 4-7 3-4 11, Camron Lynch 2-3 5-7 9, Craig Copeland 3-8 1-2 7, R.J. Wooden 2-2 0-0 5, Delo Forbes 1-7 0-0 3, Marcus Sanders 1-1 0-0 2, Cody Cochran 0-0 0-0 0, Jalen Heath 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-47 12-18 64.

3-point goals: Jacksonville 4-13 (Horton 2-6, Thurmond 1-4, Ackles 1-3); Weaver 2-9 (Hubbard 0-1, Lynch 0-1, Copeland 0-1, Wooden 1-1, Forbes 1-5). Rebounds: Jacksonville 31 (Trull 7, Thurmond 6); Weaver 29 (Arnold 12). Total fouls: Jacksonville 19, Weaver 20. Fouled out: Hubbard, Copeland. Technical fouls: Hubbard. Officials: Stringer, Smith, Douthit.

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