E.A. Sports Today

Weaver earns first W

Bearcats get back to ‘Weaver basketball’ in beating Wellborn for their first win; Wellborn girls hold on for first area win

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER — For the first six games of the season, the Weaver basketball team found various ways to lose. It was largely because they hadn’t learned to finish.

On Thursday, the Bearcats found a way to win, and it was largely because of the way they started.

Weaver scored its first victory of the season, overwhelming Wellborn 93-55 in a matinee for the students. It begged the question where had that been all season.

It was if the Starship Enterprise flew over the gym, beamed up the Weaver team that started the season 0-6 and replaced it with an entirely new roster.

The Bearcats used a combination of tight defense and Malik Arnold in the post to nearly break the scoreboard.

“That’s what we’ve been wanting for the last six or seven games,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said. “We’re very athletic and we finally showed it. We didn’t have many turnovers. We made it hard for them to bring the ball up. We do that every day in practice … and it paid off.

“That’s what we’ve been striving for. That’s Weaver basketball.”

Arnold led five Weaver scorers in double figures with 18 points. Landon Knight came off the bench to score 13, Jalen Heath had 14, Gio Mosley had 11 and Craig Copeland had 10.

The Bearcats pressed right from the jump and scored 13 points off turnovers in the first quarter on the way to a 29-17 lead. They added 10 more points off turnovers in the second to open a 55-30 halftime lead.

“I think we just got tired of losing,” Heath said. “Coach has been preaching to us for the longest that we need to get better in practice. We’re a good team we’re just not finishing and this week in practice he really took it serious on us making us finish. We made tonight a different story. We’re trying to be a different team.”

Blake Hanson hit six 3-pointers and led Wellborn (0-3) with 22 points.



GIRLS GAME: Wellborn 57, Weaver 53

Vanessa Carter was held scoreless in a quarter for the first time this season — the first quarter — and it made her mad. The fabulous freshman scorer came to life in the second quarter and propelled Wellborn to its first area victory of the season.

Carter scored 22 points over the final three quarters as the Lady Panthers (4-2) bounced back from an area loss at Pleasant Valley two days ago in which she had 38.

Weaver was intent on not having her do that to them. The Lady Bearcats opened in a triangle-and-two and kept Carter out of the scoring column in a quarter for the first time this year. She entered the game with a 22-point scoring average.

They might have done well to stay in it. They came out of the triangle in the second quarter and Wellborn went to a more aggressive offense and that combination opened things up for Carter. She scored nine in the second quarter as Wellborn pulled ahead 23-20 lead and added nine more in the third as the Lady Panthers extended it to 43-34.

“It kind of made me mad, kind of made me disappointed, because I know I could have done better and my team likes to count on me,” Carter said. “I couldn’t get open to get the ball.

“I play my hardest because I know my dad’s in heaven watching me. I knew I had it in me. I poured it out because I knew I had to win this game for my dad.”

Weaver made it close in the final minute with Carter on the bench nursing a sore hip after hitting the floor hard with 1:25 to play. Carleigh Cortez scored five straight points to make it 57-53, but the Lady Bearcats couldn’t get closer and suffered their fourth straight loss.

“That is what we practice,” said first-year Wellborn coach Shanese Morgan, the former junior high coach who moved up with her players after they won back-to-back county junior high title. “We practice everybody, to make sure they know the plays, they know what they’re doing, because you never know what’s going to happen in front of you, so we try to make sure everybody is prepared.”

The biggest thing that hurt Weaver was its inability to make layups or free throws. The Lady Bearcats were 7-of-18 from the free throw line. Coach Gary Atchley lost count of the layups.

“If we can’t hit layups and free throws, we won’t beat anybody,” Atchley said. “We won’t win another game.”

Cortez led Weaver with 19 points. Mariah Thompson, in her first game back after missing the previous three with an ankle injury, had 14.


Weaver 93, Wellborn 55

WELLBORN (0-3) – D.J. Rhoden 0 1-2 1, Mitchell Raines 1 0-0 2, Eric Johnson 0 0-0 0, Quen Moore 6 0-2 12, Tyreke Kite 0 0-0 0, Ked Harris 1 0-0 2, Jordan Montgomery 5 1-3 11, Dennis Towns 0 1-2 1, Jaylun Kelley 2 0-0 4, Blake Hanson 7 2-2 22. Totals 22 5-11 55.

WEAVER (1-6) – Delo Forbes 2 0-0 6, Jalen Heath 6 2-3 14, Craig Copeland 3 3-6 10, Paul Hubbard 3 0-0 6, Justin Chapman 0 0-0 0, Dalton Hamby 1 1-2 3, R.J. Wooden 1 0-0 3, Maurice Goodman 1 0-0 2, Robert Gaines 2 1-2 5, Gio Mosley 4 2-2 11, Malik Arnold 8 2-2 18, Landon Knight 6 1-4 13, Ducky Morris 1 0-0 2, Dane Akers 0 0-0 0. Totals 38 12-21 93.

Wellborn 17 13 16 9 — 55
Weaver 29 26 27 11 — 93

3-point goals: Wellborn 6 (Hanson 6); Weaver 5 (Forbes 2, Copeland, Wooden, Mosley). Total fouls: Wellborn 14, Weaver 10. Officials: Ortiz, Washington, Phillips.


Wellborn 57, Weaver 53

WELLBORN (4-2) – Vanessa Carter 9 4-7 22, Anaya Low 2 0-2 4, Madison Fouls 1 1-1 3, Katessa Carter 2 1-4 5, Ayanna Foster 3 2-2 8, Valencia White 0 0-0 0, Tashiana Walton 0 0-0 0, Aliyah Thrasher 1 1-2 3, Olivia Brantley 0 1-2 1, Desirae Traylor 0 0-0 0, Markiesha Jones 0 3-4 3, Caitlyn Gamble 3 1-2 8. Totals 21 14-26 57.

WEAVER (5-4) – Carleigh Cortez 7 4-10 19, Tatyana Perry 2 0-0 4, Raine Beck 3 3-4 9, Emily Reed 3 0-0 7, Anna Howell 0 0-0 0, Hannah Roberts 0 0-0 0, Mariah Thompson 7 0-4 14, Abby Gaines 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-18 53.

Wellborn 8 15 20 14 — 57
Weaver 13 7 14 19 — 53

3-point goals: Wellborn 1 (Gamble); Weaver 2 (Cortez, Reed). Fouled out: Low, K. Carter, Foster, Perry, Beck. Total fouls: Wellborn 23, Weaver 22. Officials: Burroughs, Hughes, Phillips.

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