E.A. Sports Today

Wildcats fall in final

Randall cites toughness, missed layups among reasons White Plains failed to finish in Lincoln Invitational final; PV snaps losing streak

White Plains guard Jerod Guthrie (3), shown during a game last season, hit seven 3-pointers in the second half against Westbrook Christian Wednesday night. (File photo)

White Plains guard Jerod Guthrie (3), shown during a game last season, hit seven 3-pointers in the second half against Westbrook Christian Wednesday night. (File photo)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN – When a team loses by as close a margin as White Plains fell in the finals of the Lincoln Thanksgiving Invitational Wednesday night, it’s easy to find a play or two that could have made the difference.

Wildcats coach Chris Randall found four or five from his team’s 59-57 loss to Westbrook Christian – and they all came right around the basket.

The Wildcats missed several layups at crucial parts of the game that could have helped their cause, including two in the final 10 seconds. Randall also lamented a lack of toughness that allowed the Warriors (5-0) to handle his team.

“We made a nice run to get it close at the end of the third quarter and we missed four at the rim uncontested – four,” Randall said. “I mean, one-footed layups that in a three-point deficit we could’ve been up five. That changes the whole game.

“We outplayed them, we did everything and got nothing to show for it in the third quarter. And it’s the way we missed them. We missed finger rolls. We’re not supposed to take finger rolls. Use the backboard. We didn’t. That’s my fault, letting stuff slide.”

Missing the short-range shots may have cost the Wildcats (3-1) some easy points, but it was the long-range shot that got them back in the game and kept them there.

They trailed by nine at halftime after a one-basket, eight-point second quarter – their lowest-scoring quarter of the season — but overcame it behind the outside shooting of Jerod Guthrie and led by five with three minutes to play.

“Jerod just went off; he just put us on his back and carried us,” Randall said. “It wasn’t like it was a lot of different people making shots. Jerod just went bonkers.”

Guthrie hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter and had seven in the game to finish with a game-high 26 points. His only points in the first half came on two free throws in the second quarter.

“The first half I came out not ready to play,” Guthrie said. “The second half my brother-in-law (Blake May) came up to me and said to keep shooting and I got my confidence back. After I hit the first one I felt fine and they kept going in and I kept getting more confidence.”

Guthrie’s 3-pointer with 5:26 to play gave White Plains a 52-47 lead, but the Wildcats didn’t make another field goal until another Guthrie 3 with 44 seconds to play tied the game at 57.

Westbrook took the lead 59-57 on Will Jones’ putback with 18.7 seconds remaining. White Plains’ Kevin Carr missed a layup and a putback with 10 seconds to go, then after Westbrook missed two free throws at the other the end with 2.8 seconds left the Wildcats couldn’t get off a good final shot.

“The toughest team won; we’re not tough, they’re tougher than us, bottom line,” Randall said. “They got every loose ball. Every 50-50 ball went to them. They bullied us on their best player’s missed free throw; we couldn’t box them out, they just pushed us out of bounds.

“We needed our butt kicked and they were nice to do it for us.”

Lincoln 80, Pell City 58

The Golden Bears won the consolation game of their own tournament thanks in large part to Dee Whiteside’s big night.

Whiteside scored a career-high 34 points as Lincoln bounced back from its first loss of the season. The Bears were sluggish out of the gate against White Plains, but Whiteside wasn’t Wednesday. He scored 24 points in the first half.

“Coach (Rush Rutledge) gave us a little motivation speech before we came out,” Whiteside said. “I got to where he was telling me to get and that helped me out a whole lot.”

Pleasant Valley 52, Woodville 43

WALNUT GROVE – Pleasant Valley used the halftime break to change its defensive approach, turned up the intensity in the second half and rallied from an early 10-point deficit in the West End Tournament to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Raiders got 21 points from Reid Hightower and 17 from Josh Faucett, but first-year coach Ryan McCoy said the rally “couldn’t have been done” without Josh Preston’s defense and rebounding in the second

PV outscored the Panthers 27-12 in the second half. The Raiders held them to five field goals in the second half and kept Zachary Isbell in check until the Panthers’ leading scorer fouled out with about a minute and a half to play.

Isbell scored 16 points in the first half.

“The kids responded well to the halftime adjustments defensively,” McCoy said. “It’s just nice to see the kids keep working hard.

“We’re getting better, but we still have a long way to go. These kids want to win and work their tails off every day. We just have to keep doing it the right way.”

Homewood 40, Oxford 26

VESTAVIA HILLS – After a big game the night before, the Yellow Jackets offense ran cold in their second game at the Sneaky Pete’s Classic.

Jakolbie McClenon was Oxford’s leading scorer with six points. The night before, the Jackets beat Shades Valley in overtime 70-61 behind Querriun Mason’s 18 points and 10 rebounds, McClendon’s 16 points and Jalen Moore’s 12 points and three steals.

The Jackets return to the tournament Friday to face the Vestavia Hills-Gardendale loser at 5 p.m.

Talladega 56, Carver Birmingham 35

COLUMBIANA – Jay Smoot scored 20 points and Robert Houston grabbed 10 rebounds as the Tigers closed out the Shelby County Tournament with a second victory.

Ashton Duncan added 13 points and made four big steals in the fourth quarter. Fred Dickerson had five assists.

Smoot had 28 in Talladega’s second-round win over Benjamin Russell (57-53). The Tigers lost to McAdory in the first round.

THURSDAY BOXSCORES

Lincoln Thanksgiving Invitational

Westbrook Christian 59, White Plains 57

WESTBROOK CHRISTIAN (5-0) – Will Jones 3 2-2 9, Gilbert Rosas 0 0-0 0, Kyle Edwards 4 2-5 10, Cameron Migliori 2 0-0 5, Chandler Richards 5 4-12 14, Kyle Leonard 3 2-6 8, Brandon Beecham 0 0-0 0, Luke Graham 2 0-0 4, Boo Shirley 2 4-7 9. Totals 21 14-32

WHITE PLAINS (3-1) – Jerod Guthrie 8 3-4 26, Kevin Carr 0 0-0 0, Eli Hightower 1 0-0 3, Michael McGuirk 0 4-4 4, Jackson Guthrie 0 0-1 0, Quez Wyatt 0 1-2 1, Lawrence Jackson 3 3-4 9, Macy Carr 3 2-2 8, Murphy Doss 2 2-4 6, Brett Beaver 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 15-21 57.

Westbrook Chr. 18 14 14 13 — 59
White Plains 15 8 22 12 — 57

3-point goals: Westbrook 3 (Jones, Migliori, Shirley); White Plains 8 (Je. Guthrie 7, Hightower). Fouled out: Doss. Technical foul: Graham. Total fouls: Westbrook 17, White Plains 22. Officials: Batey, Allen, Ortiz.

Lincoln 80, Pell City 58

PELL CITY (3-1) – Noah Kennedy 3 0-0 7, Luke Daniels 4 2-2 11, Griffin Wright 0 4-4 4, Hudson Hughes 3 0-1 6, Branden Satterweight 3 4-4 12, Gabe McKinney 2 2-6 6, Jamichael Lipscomb 3 2-3 8, Jarrell Estell 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 14-20 58.

LINCOLN (4-1) – Isaac Davis 0 0-0 0, Zay Caldwell 2 2-2 7, Tyler Hemphill 2 1-3 6, Milaik Weed 4 1-2 11, Quin Carmichael 3 2-4 8, Dee Whiteside 12 10-15 34, L.J. Carmichael 3 3-7 9, Chris Prince 0 0-0 0, Dontae Rivers 0 1-2 1, Brikael Truss 2 0-0 4. Totals 28 20-35 80.

Pell City 14 13 17 14 — 58
Lincoln 22 17 18 23 — 80

3-point goals: Pell City 4 (Kennedy, Daniels, Satterwhite 2); Lincoln 4 (Caldwell, Hemphill, Weed 2). Total fouls: Pell City 19, Lincoln 20. Officials: Batey, Allen, Ortiz.

West End Tournament

Pleasant Valley 52, Woodville 43

PLEASANT VALLEY (2-3) – Josh Preston 0 0-0 0, Dakota Jones 1 0-0 2, Caden Turner 2 0-0 5, Britton Proper 0 0-0 0, Marshall Smith 0 0-0 0, Josh Faucett 8 1-7 17, Reid Hightower 7 2-4 21, Jordan Landers 0 1-2 1, Nick Robbins 2 0-0 4, Jordan Lambert 0 0-0 0, Chase Craven 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 4-13 52.

WOODVILLE – Eathan Johnson 0 2-3 2, Brett Johnson 2 0-0 6, Jeremiah Hastings 2 0-3 6, Nicholas Baker 3 0-2 8, Tyler Franks 0 0-0 0, Collin Cash 0 0-0 0, Thatcher Taylor 0 1-2 1, Zachary Isbell 8 4-10 20. Totals 15 7-20 43.

Pleasant Valley 9 16 17 10 — 52
Woodville 19 12 6 6 — 43

3-point goals: Pleasant Valley 6 (Turner, Hightower 5); Woodville 6 (B. Johnson 2, Hastings 2, Baker 2). Fouled out: Isbell. Total fouls: Pleasant Valley 17, Woodville 14. Officials: Campbell, Russell, Hall.

Shelby County Invitational

Talladega 56, Carver-B’ham 35

TALLADEGA (4-1) – D’Jauntae Dickerson 2 0-0 4, Tyrese Seals 0 0-2 0, Jay Smoot 7 2-4 20, Ashton Duncan 6 0-0 13, Jamontae Twyman 3 2-2 8, Demarco Truss 0 0-0 0, Waderrius Tuck 0 0-0 0, Robert Huston 2 1-2 5, Jaelyn Russ 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 5-10 56.

CARVER — Chappelle Wade 1 1-3 5, Jason Ford 2 1-2 7, Brian Miller 6 2-2 15, Casey Owens 0 0-0 0, Tony Farley 0 0-0 0, Zeke Toney 2 2-2 6, Jimmy Hester 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 6-9 35.

Talladega 11 13 13 19 — 56
Carver 9 12 4 10 — 35

3-point goals: Talladega 5 (Smoot 4, Duncan); Carver (Wade, Ford 2, Miller). Total fouls: Talladega 8, Carver 10. Officials: Collins, Livingston, Glover.



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