E.A. Sports Today

White Plains breaks slump

Wildcats use season-best quarter to open big lead on Weaver, snap two-game losing streak

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – Chris Randall was lamenting the bouts of lethargy with which his White Plains basketball team was playing in its previous two games.

There was nothing lethargic about the way the Wildcats played in the second quarter Tuesday night.

The Wildcats returned to the style of basketball for which they’re known, erupting for a season-high 30-point second quarter that carried them to a 70-44 rout of Weaver.

The most they had scored in a quarter previously this season was 27 – in the second quarter of their season-opener with Faith Christian.

“We still played hard in the first, but defensively they stuck us,” Randall said. “We didn’t make a tough shot in the first quarter, but, man, that second quarter we really got rolling.

“A 30-point quarter? There have been games we’ve played Weaver I was glad to get 30.”

The Wildcats (8-3) were controlling gaps, forcing turnovers, running the floor, completing plays for layup. It may have been the highlight of the season so far. It certainly was enough to erase the bad taste of back-to-back losses to Class 5A Talladega and Anniston in their last two starts.

Six players scored in the quarter, carrying the Wildcats to a 42-18 halftime lead. Murphy Doss had six of his team-high 12 in the quarter and Eli Hightower had five of his 10. Lawrence Jackson and Michael McGuirk had seven each.

They had separate runs of six, eight and 10 points to steadily pull away.

“The second quarter was really big,” Hightower said. “We just had to settle down and do our own thing, play like we know how we can play. It was a great feeling. It felt like we were playing real Wildcat basketball.

“Defensive stops really set us in, because when you play good defense it leads to good offense. And when people start knocking down shots the rim just gets bigger and bigger and it’s contagious.”

The run actually started late in the first quarter when the Wildcats erased an 8-6 deficit with the last six points of the quarter. Doss scored four of the points in that flurry.

“It’s not really surprising,” Doss said, “because Coach is always telling us we want to get two percent better each game and that’s what we did.”

It was 100 percent better than the previous two games.

Jalon Heath led Weaver with 17 points. He was the Bearcats only scorer in double figures.

White Plains 70, Weaver 44

WHITE PLAINS (8-3) – Jerod Guthrie 3 0-1 6, Peyton Morgan 1 2-2 4, Dylan McCareeth 0 0-0 0, Kevin Carr 3 0-0 6, Eli Hightower 4 0-0 10, Michael McGuirk 4 0-0 9, Jackson Guthrie 1 0-0 3, Quez Wyatt 0 2-2 2, Lawrence Jackson 3 1-1 7, Macy Carr 4 0-0 9, Murphy Doss 6 0-1 12, Brett Beaver 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 5-7 70.

WEAVER (1-7) – Delo Forbes 0 0-0 0, Jalon Heath 6 4-4 17, Craig Copeland 2 3-6 8, Paul Hubbard 1 3-3 5, R.J. Wooden 1 0-0 3, Gio Mosley 1 0-0 2, Malik Arnold 3 1-4 7, Ducky Morris 1 0-2 2, Landun Knight 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-19 44.

White Plains 12 30 14 14 — 70
Weaver 8 10 13 13 — 44

3-point goals: White Plains 5 (McGuirk, Ja. Guthrie, M. Carr, Hightower 2); Weaver 3 (Heath, Copeland, Wooden). Total fouls: White Plains 16, Weaver 16. Officials: Burroughs, Calkins, Washington.

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