E.A. Sports Today

Anniston sweeps Lincoln

Supporting cast comes through to help Anniston boys improve to 2-0 in area; Anniston girls romp

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

It was hard for Anniston coach Schuessler Ware to imagine how Thursday night’s early area showdown would have turned out if it weren’t for guys like Willie Thomas and Chris Beard.

The Bulldogs got past Lincoln 59-45 to take the early upper hand in 5A Area 12, and they needed every hand on deck to do it.

With starting post DeQuan Ross in foul trouble from early in the second quarter and guard Tray Croft having an off night scoring, it fell on the rest of the Bulldogs to get them through the night.

Beard picked up the slack inside. He scored only five points, but grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. Thomas, drawing inspiration from what he called “a little talk” with Ware before the game, scored 11 points, dished five assists and picked up two steals.

“We talked about accountability,” Ware said. “That goes to being more productive. It’s not ‘whose job (is it),’ it’s everybody’s job.

“Some of the other guys stepped up. I was worried because (DeQuan Ross) did get in trouble the first half and that really hurt. Thomas and Beard really have come a long way.”

Hakeem Ross led the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0) with 15 points. Davion Tippins had 11 points and nine rebounds. Croft finished with 11 with the help of three 3-pointers.

Ware thought Thomas was the Bulldogs’ best player last year at the time he got caught up in an off-the-court incident that cost him the season after just a handful of games. Thomas said he was looking forward to returning to the form he displayed before the suspension.

“I stepped up a lot; my team needed me,” Thomas said. “I had played a bad game Tuesday, so I had to step up today.

“Before the game me and coach Ware had a little talk in the locker room, yesterday at practice, too. He said my best game was my last game last year against Alexandria, so I’ve got to step up more and more.”

The Bulldogs trailed only briefly in the game. Lincoln took its only lead right at the start of the third quarter, but Anniston responded with an 11-2 run to regain the lead.

The Bears cut it to 41-39 with 5:30 left to play, then Hakeem Ross hit a 3-pointer that touched off an 18-6 run to close it out. Thomas and Beard had six straight points at one point in the run.

“I like playing with these boys; I put everything on the line for them,” Beard said. “I just do what coach needs me to do. He told me go in, crash the boards, play hard-nose defense. I just want to go out and do everything coach tells me to do.”

A big part of Lincoln’s offense is its outside shot, but the Golden Bears (8-2, 0-1) did not hit a 3-pointer in the game. Tyler Hemphill, their main outside threat, was their leading scorer with 11 points. Dee Whiteside had 10.

The game drew a lot of interest from teams around the county. At least three teams had their head coaches there — Alexandria, Sacred Heart and White Plains. Alexandria is an area rival of both teams, White Plains plays Anniston Monday night and Sacred Heart is always interested in seeing a good game.

GIRLS GAME: Anniston 92, Lincoln 16

Raven Cooley scored 17 of her 25 points in the first quarter and the Lady Bulldogs scored the first 17 points of a game that quickly morphed into an extended practice.

Cooley hit three 3-pointers in the quarter and was 5-of-12 from behind the arc in the game.

“I just took my time with my shot and didn’t rush and played relaxed,” Cooley said as she stood in the spirit line awaiting the boys’ arrival on the court.

Twelve of the 14 players who got in the game for Anniston scored. The Lady Bulldogs had 22 team assists and 41 team steals.

Miajah Bullock had 13 points and Davia Palmer had 10. Carsheuna Curry had 10 steals. Carlina Welch scored five points, but had six assists and five steals.

The Lady Bulldogs held Lincoln scoreless in the fourth quarter.


Anniston 59, Lincoln 45

LINCOLN (8-2, 0-1) – Isaac Davis 0 0-0 0, Zay Caldwell 2 1-2 5, Tyler Hemphill 3 5-6 11, Malik Weed 3 2-3 8, Quin Carmichael 3 0-2 6, Dee Whiteside 5 0-1 10, L.J. Carmichael 2 1-2 5. Totals 18 9-16 45.

ANNISTON (5-1, 2-0) – Marrio Dobbins 0 0-0 0, Tray Croft 3 2-3 11, Hakeem Ross 6 1-1 15, Davion Tippins 4 3-3 11, Willie Thomas 4 3-7 11, DeQuan Ross 3 0-0 6, Chris Beard 2 1-2 5. Totals 22 10-16 59.

Lincoln 11 14 10 10 — 45
Anniston 16 10 11 22 — 59

3-point goals: Anniston 5 (Croft 3, H. Ross 2). Fouled out: Caldwell. Total fouls: Lincoln 16, Anniston 18. Officials: Walker, Holmes, Smith.


Anniston 92, Lincoln 16

LINCOLN – Jasmina Miller 0 0-2 0, Amaz Carmichael 4 1-2 9, Katelynn Harmon 1 0-0 2, Bailey Gowers 1 1-3 3, Jayla Harris 1 0-0 2, Taylor Conway 0 0-1 0, Jessie Edge 0 0-0 0, Courtney Edwards 0 0-2 0. Totals 7 2-8 16.

ANNISTON – Miajah Bullock 6 1-2 13, Raven Cooley 9 2-2 25, Carlina Welch 2 1-6 5, Viera Edmondson 1 0-2 2, Davia Palmer 4 2-4 10, Kendra Finley 2 1-2 5, Amoriya Dudley 3 1-5 7, Monteiga Clemons 2 0-0 4, Taniya Foster 0 0-0 0, Carsheuna Curry 1 1-1 3, Toniah Foster 4 0-0 8, J’Kyra Clemons 1 4-4 6, Mattie Logan 0 0-0 0, Jemya Bullock 2 0-0 4. Totals 37 13-28 92.

Lincoln 5 7 4 0 — 16
Anniston 33 29 18 12 — 92

3-point goals: Anniston 5 (Cooley 5). Technical foul: Lincoln bench. Fouled out: Harmon. Total fouls: Lincoln 21, Anniston 18. Officials: Holmes, Whiteside, Smith.

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