E.A. Sports Today

Lincoln bears down on Westbrook

Hemphill, Caldwell score key baskets late as Golden Bears stun No. 4 Warriors in Riley Whitaker Classic

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN — This is usually the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas is in the air and everyone is anxiously awaiting the holiday season. Oh yeah, there are holiday basketball tournaments, too.

Lincoln celebrated a little earlier this year.

The second matchup of the Riley Whitaker Classic at Gadsden State Saturday was by far the most interesting. A fourth-ranked Westbrook Christian team and an 11-3 Lincoln team two classifications higher faced off in what would become the game of the day.

The 5A Golden Bears handed Westbrook its first loss of the season, 53-52, in a game that went down to the wire.

“We came out and we knew it would take a full bench effort,” Lincoln coach Rush Rutledge said. “We played everyone on the bench and they gave us some good minutes late in the game. That was our fourth game in six days, so to beat Westbrook who is an undefeated and very good team was a big team win.”

The game was highlighted by the exceptional play of Tyler Hemphill. The senior, who transferred in last year from Sparkman, had 12 points with five rebounds and nailed a clutch 3-pointer with 59 seconds left. Zay Caldwell, another senior, made the final layup of the game to seal it; he had 13 points.

“Those two are going to lead us in scoring every night,” Rutledge said. “When they are running together I would put them up against a good many people.”

Coming off a tough area loss to a very good Alexandria team could have put an emotional damper on the Bears, but they held their own by using up the bench and keeping their legs fresh.

“I was trying to save them a little bit,” Rutledge said. “I was keeping them fresh and using the subs to keep us in it.”

Hemphill was tough the whole game. Dominating with his shot from the arc and playing stellar defense allowed his team to the victory. His grandparents were even in town to see the game, giving him a Christmas card; what a game they came to see.

Westbrook started the game in a precise and methodical fashion. The Warriors took a 24-23 halftime lead.

“We made some stupid mistakes early,” said Hemphill. “We came out strong though and we played good defense at the end and it was nice to hit the big shot to seal the deal.”

Westbrook now will move through the Classic in the loser’s bracket. The Warriors were led by Kyle Leonard’s 14 points and six rebounds. Chandler Richards had 10 points and four boards.

Leadership on this Lincoln team is crucial to its success, and with players like Hemphill and Caldwell continuing to play strong this team appears poised to make a push in their area.

“Last year we were not as strong,” Hemphill said. “This year though we are playing well, especially with leaders like myself and the other seniors. We are trying to lead the team and it’s looking good right now.”

St. Clair County 60, Jacksonville 40

The Golden Eagles’ early-season struggles continued. The injury-riddled and tired team, playing only 10 hours after losing an area game to Saks, fell behind 21-8 out of the gate. They battled back to trail only 29-24 at halftime, but the tank was completely empty by the fourth quarter, when they were outscored 12-4.

Rivan Hill led the Golden Eagles (2-7) with 14 points and four assists. Alex Gilbert had eight points and eight rebounds, and Martavious Long had 7 rebounds.

The Saints, meanwhile, were sharp from the field, hitting 24 of 45 shots. Kimo Davis had 16 points and Taylor Mickens had 10.

Alexandria 63, Ashville 27

The Valley Cubs opened a 19-0 lead and rolled over an obviously overmatched opponent.

Riley Shaw had 11 points – all in the first quarter – and grabbed four rebounds. Caleb Young also had 11 points and Gerald Murphy had nine.

The Valley Cubs had more points on 3-pointers (30) than Ashville scored in the game.

Alexandria will face Weaver in the second round, Monday at 6 p.m.

Saks 56, Springville 39

Jaylen Britt hit all six of his team’s 3-pointers and Demetrius Powell went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats completed a 4-0 week.

Britt, who scored 24 points in the game, hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Wildcats opened a 25-19 lead and three more in a 13-point third quarter as they pulled away.

Riley Whitaker Christmas Classic
At Gadsden State

St. Clair County 60, Jacksonville 40

ST. CLAIR COUNTY – Kimo Davis 7-13 0-0 16, Taylor Mickens 4-6 1-5 10, Grayson Beatty 4-7 0-3 8, Temothie Smith 2-4 3-4 7, Justin May 3-5 1-2 7, Garrett Sanders 1-2 1-2 3, JaDarren Carter 1-2 1-3 3, Mason Anderson 1-5 0-0 2, Nyjil Cotton 0-0 2-2 2, Colby Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Armond Brasfield 0-0 0-0 0, Grayson Coupland 0-0 0-0 0, Jayce Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Chris Holmes 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-45 9-23 60.

JACKSONVILLE (2-7) – Rivan Hill 5-8 2-3 14, Alex Gilbert 3-8 1-7 8, Jay Davis 1-2 3-6 5, Martavious Long 1-3 1-5 3, Taye Ackles 0-13 3-8 3, Blake Morris 0-1 3-6 3, K.J. Satcher 1-4 0-1 2, Alex Davis 0-0 2-2 2, Aaron Bragg 0-3 0-0 0, Collin Casey 0-2 0-0 0, Tahj Kirkland 0-0 0-0 0, Terry Thomas 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-45 15-38 40.

St. Clair County 21 8 19 12 — 60
Jacksonville 8 16 12 4 — 40

3-point goals: St. Clair County 3-12 (Davis 2-6, Mickens 1-3, May 0-1, Carter 0-1, Anderson 0-1); Jacksonville 3-14 (Hill 2-3, Gilbert 1-1, Ackles 0-7, Casey 0-2, Thomas 0-1). Rebounds: St. Clair County 40 (T. Smith 7, Anderson 7); Jacksonville 35 (Gilbert 8, Long 7). Fouled out: Anderson, Ackles. Total fouls: St. Clair County 27, Jacksonville 20.

Lincoln 53, Westbrook Christian 52

LINCOLN — Zay Caldwell 5 2-4 13, Tyler Hemphill 3 5-9 13, Malik Weed 0 1-2 1, Terez Ellis 0 0-0 0, Quin Carmichael 6 1-2 13, Dee Whiteside 2 2-3 6, L.J. Carmichael 2 2-2 6, Chris Prince 1 0-0 2, Donte Rivers 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 13-22 53.

WESTBROOK — Will Jones 3 0-0 9, Garrett Kennedy 0 0-0 0, Kyle Edwards 3 1-4 7, Cameron Migliore 2 2-4 6, Chandler Richards 4 2-2 10, Kyle Leonard 4 2-4 13, Brandon Beecham 1 1-2 3, Luke Graham 2 0-0 4, Jordan Kilgo 1 0-0 2, Boo Shirley 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 8-16 52.

Lincoln 11 12 8 22 — 53
Westbrook 7 15 20 10 — 52

3-point goals: Lincoln 2 (Caldwell, Hemphill); Westbrook 6 (Jones 3, Leonard 3). Fouled out: Jones, Richards. Total fouls: Lincoln 15, Springville 23. Officials: Lemon, Warren, Stringer.

Alexandria 63, Ashville 27

ALEXANDRIA – Riley Shaw 4 0-0 11, Austin Taylor 0 1-2 1, A.J. Martin 2 1-3 5, Dalton Dodd 3 0-0 6, Gerald Murphy 4 1-2 9, Cole Nail 1 0-0 2, Jamal Tucker 3 0-0 8, Jordan Romine 1 0-0 2, Caleb Young 3 2-2 11, Marcus Swink 1 0-0 2, Luke Tucker 2 0-0 6. Totals 24 5-9 63.

ASHVILLE – Hunter Huckbay 0 1-2 1, D’Angelo Williams 2 2-2 7, Landon Cornutt 2 0-0 6, Noah Cater 1 3-3 6, Zarean Williams 1 0-0 2, Malek Williams 2 0-0 5. Totals 8 6-7 27.

Alexandria 21 18 12 12 — 63
Ashville 2 5 14 6 — 27

3-point goals: Alexandria 10 (Shaw 3, J. Tucker 2, Young 3, L. Tucker 2); Ashville 5 (D. Williams, Cornutt 2, M. Williams, Cater). Total fouls: Alexandria 11, Ashville 6. Officials: Stringer, Oden, Morris.

Saks 56, Springville 39

SAKS – Demetrius Powell 1 6-8 8, Quay McCord 0 0-0 0, Quin Smith 2 0-1 4, Jaylen Britt 8 2-3 24, J.J. Murry 0 0-0 0, Davieuntae Booker 0 2-2 2, Phonso Wood 1 3-5 5, Demario Burnett 2 0-0 4, Trae Hughley 2 0-0 4, Darien Briskey 1 0-2 2, Landun Peters 0 3-4 3. Totals 17 16-25 56.

SPRINGVILLE – Trevor Hurst 1 2-2 5, Hunter Richardson 1 0-1 2, Dalton Pitts 2 0-0 5, Jordan Burd 0 0-2 2, Jamison Worrell 4 0-0 8, Jared Higdon 0 0-0 0, Nicholas Eldridge 1 0-0 2, Cameron Isbell 4 1-4 9, Zachary Tucker 1 2-2 4, Dave Phillips 2 0-0 4, Logan Dodd 0 0-1 0. Totals 16 5-12 39.

Saks 10 15 17 14 — 56
Springville 8 11 8 12 — 39

3-point goals: Saks 6 (Britt 6); Springville 2 (Hurst, Pitts). Fouled out: Hughley. Total fouls: Saks 16, Springville 21.



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