E.A. Sports Today

Heath right at home

Sacred Heart guard’s game Saturday was just another in a series of outstanding efforts he’d given in Pete Mathews Coliseum

Sacred Heart's Kevion Nolan (23) races up the floor between Carrollton's Jarel Spear (4) and Dylan Parham Saturday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Sacred Heart’s Kevion Nolan (23) races up the floor between Carrollton’s Jarel Spear (4) and Dylan Parham Saturday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – D.J. Heath feels so at home when he plays at Pete Mathews Coliseum, it might as well be nicknamed The Heath instead of the The Pete.

The junior Sacred Heart star and his team hammered Carrollton (Ga.) 64-40 Saturday in the TV24 Holiday Showcase. The top-ranked Cardinals (9-4) toyed with the opposition early and especially in the second half.

Heath, of course, led the way with 26 points and 10 rebounds. He played all but two minutes in the game and seemed to feel in his own element here, where he has a consistent track record of playing well. Just last year he was named MVP of the Calhoun County Tournament and the Class 1A Northeast Regional in the building.

“I just like the atmosphere here,” Heath said. “I know when I come here I can play to the best of my ability and really allow myself and this team to play the best game possible.”

No matter where he was on the court, the ball would find him. That’s all the Cardinals needed. Heath was 10 of 22 from the floor, 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc.

Many things are consistent with Heath, but he remains very in tune with the overall process set forth by head coach Ralph Graves.

“We’re taking it step by step and it’s a process,” Heath said. “Where we are trying to get this year is the same as last year (the state championship). We know it’s a process, and coach has instilled that in us, but we just have to take it game by game.”

Heath was the clear star of the game, but he wasn’t the only Sacred Heart player with an outstanding game. Kevion Nolan had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists. Diante Wood had 14 points with seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Nolan and Wood gave a second-half clinic on quick passes and alley-oops to put the Trojans away with ease.

Graves is pleased with his team, but also is cautious about his team’s early success.

“We’re in December right now,” he said. “We have nationally recognized tournaments like the Steel City Classic coming up, and then we’re going down to play at Carver-Montgomery and that’s the same (approach). Our goal is to go over and win it, but we’re only worried about December right now.”

On the cover: D.J. Heath (R) in action at Pete Mathews Coliseum last season (prior to the arena’s makeover).

Cherokee County 73, Plainview 56

Joel Wester, son of head coach Neal Wester, scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds and hit several second-half 3s to help the fifth-ranked 4A Warriors (5-0) pull away.

Quartez Henderson had 11 points and four rebounds, while Nahum Horton had 10 points with six boards. Both played strong defense as they had a combined for four steals and three blocked shots.

Sacred Heart 64, Carrollton (Ga.) 40

CARROLLTON (0-4) – Marshon Fallis 0-2 2-2 2, Carson Colverhouse 1-5 0-0 3, Janel Rowe 3-9 0-0 6, Dez Webb 4-14 0-0 8, Tim Green 5-7 0-2 10, Jarel Spear 2-4 3-4 7, Josh McClendon 1-5 0-0 3, Jaylen Thomas 0-0 0-2 0, Jordan Bonner 0-1 0-0 0, Jeff Johnson 0-0 0-1 0, Treyvon Reddish 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Parham 0-0 0-0 0, Tyler Harper 0-1 1-2 1, Josh Thomas 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-53 6-13 40.

SACRED HEART (9-4) – Diante Wood 4-11 6-7 14, Kavarri Ross 3-6 0-0 7, Murdock Simmons 2-5 0-0 5, D.J. Heath 10-22 2-6 26, Kevion Nolan 4-9 2-3 10, Samuel Miller 1-2 0-0 2, Caleb LaFollette 0-0 0-0 0, Stephen Stansil 0-0 0-0 0, Jon Riley Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 10-16 64.

Carrollton 11 9 13 7 — 40
Sacred Heart 13 20 18 13 — 64

3-point goals: Carrollton 2-16 (Fallis 0-3, Colverhouse 1-4, Webb 0-2, Spear 0-2, McClendon 1-4, Reddish 0-1); Sacred Heart 6-20 (Wood 0-1, Ross 1-2, Murdock 1-4, Heath 4-9, Nolan 0-4). Rebounds: Carrollton 34 (Green 7, Rowe 6); Sacred Heart 49 (Heath 10). Total fouls: Carrollton 40, Sacred Heart 11.

Diante Wood keeps his eye on the basket as he weaves through traffic during Sacred Heart's victory over Carrollton Saturday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

Diante Wood keeps his eye on the basket as he weaves through traffic during Sacred Heart’s victory over Carrollton Saturday. (Photo by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)



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