E.A. Sports Today

Opening statement

Jackson helps White Plains open area schedule with big victory over Jacksonville; Horton goes for 33 in loss



By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Chris Randall calls Lawrence Jackson the ultimate team player.

It’s not just because the White Plains senior is a good teammate. He’s one of those rare types who can play all five positions on the floor – and often does it in the same game with no decreased productivity.

Jackson had it all going on Friday as he led White Plains to a 74-51 victory over Jacksonville in their area opener.

He was the Wildcats’ second leading scorer with 14 points, was their leading rebounder with seven, led them in assists and steals with three each and drew the defensive assignment on Golden Eagles’ scoring sensation Cam Horton half the night.

“Lawrence makes plays to make his teammates better,” Randall said. “He is very unselfish in a team full of unselfish folks. He’s a senior who really loves to enjoy his teammates’ success.

“We brought him off the bench for a while but you just can’t; he’s so versatile. You don’t get an opportunity to coach kids like Lawrence a whole lot. He always plays for other. When one of your best players is that unselfish and puts his teammates in front of himself, you’re onto something special.”

Jackson played all five spots Friday. He started the game at the two-guard, which is probably his most natural position, moved to the point when Jerod Guthrie got into some early foul trouble, then moved into the post when Murphy Doss got in foul trouble.

He’s been doing it for so long, it just doesn’t bother him anymore.

“I just want to help out the team and get the win,” he said. “I didn’t used to be able to shoot it as good so I played down low a lot more, but now that I can shoot it I’ll play any position. As long as I play good and help out the team I’m good; I don’t mind it.”

Jackson was 6-for-9 from the field. He was particularly effective offensively in the middle two quarter, scoring 11 points, to help the Wildcats (7-1) open a 19-point lead.

Michael McGuirk was their leading scorer with 16 points; he was 6 of 8 from the field. Eli Hightower hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 11. Guthrie and Doss finished with nine each.

The big scorer in the game, of course, was Horton. He went for 33 points and had to work for them. He had 20 in the first half.

“Of the people we play on a regular basis (former Weaver star) Chris English and Cam are the best offensive players that we’ve coached against,” Randall said. “Cam is a generational offensive player; people like him don’t come around very often. He is mighty special.”

The balance White Plains showed in the game and the margin of victory sent a message to the other teams in Class 4A Area 11. It’s expected to be a competitive race again this year with the Wildcats, Golden Eagles, Saks and Cleburne County.

“You want to host that area tournament; it’s a big deal to us,” Randall said. “This is the first step, we’ve got five more to go. We’re mighty happy to get that first one.”

The Wildcats’ ambitious schedule continues Saturday with a 7 p.m. date against Talladega in the TV24 Holiday Showcase at Pete Mathews Coliseum. On Monday they host Anniston in a game that likely will determine the No. 2 seed in the Calhoun County Tournament.

White Plains 74, Jacksonville 51

JACKSONVILLE (1-3) – Cam Horton 10-23 11-13 33, Casey Trull 3-8 0-1 6, Taye Ackles 1-3 0-0 3, Tahj Kirkland 1-1 0-0 2, Rivan Hill 1-2 0-0 2, Will Fuller 1-1 0-2 2, Alex Gilbert 1-3 0-0 2, Terry Thomas 0-0 1-2 1, Martavious Long 0-4 0-0 0, Aaron Bragg 0-1 0-0 0, Collin Casey 0-1 0-0 0, Blake Morris 0-0 0-0 0, K.J. Satcher 0-1 0-0 0.. Totals 18-48 12-18 51.

WHITE PLAINS (7-1) — Michael McGuirk 6-8 3-4 16, Lawrence Jackson 6-9 2-5 14, Eli Hightower 4-8 0-0 11, Macy Carr 3-5 2-2 9, Jerod Guthrie 3-8 2-2 9, Kevin Carr 3-6 1-2 8, Murphy Doss 2-3 0-0 5, Brett Beaver 1-1 0-0 2, Jackson Guthrie 0-4 0-0 0, Peyton Morgan 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan McCareeth 0-0 0-0 0, Quez Wyatt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-52 10-15 74.

Jacksonville 14 17 9 11 — 51
White Plains 18 21 20 15 — 74

3-point goals: Jacksonville 3-17 (Horton 2-10, Ackles 1-3, Long 0-2, Bragg 0-1, Casey 0-1); White Plains 8-18 (McGuirk 1-3, Hightower 3-5, M. Carr 1-3, Je. Guthrie 1-3, K. Carr 1-2, Doss 1-2). Rebounds: Jacksonville 29 (Trull 8); White Plains 31 (Jackson 7, McGuirk 6). Technical fouls: McGuirk. Fouled out: Hill, Ackles. Totals fouls: Jacksonville 20, White Plains 16.

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