E.A. Sports Today

Wildcats drop close one

White Plains makes ‘bad foul’ after hitting a big 3 to set stage for decisive free throws; also, Oxford, Anniston, Sacred Heart all win

By East Alabama Sports Today

FREEPORT, Fla. – White Plains coach Chris Randall described it as “disappointing and devastating” a loss as he’s ever absorbed in his tenure with the Wildcats.

Eli Hightower scored 30 points and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds to play, but the Wildcats followed it with a “bad foul” and lost to Oliver Springs (Tenn.) 64-62 on a pair of free throws with less than two seconds to play.

They will look to stave off elimination in the Sandestin Hilton Beach Basketball Blowout Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. against Paxton (Fla.).

“I’ve been at White Plains 15 years and this is as disappointing and devastating a loss as I’ve been a part of,” Randall said. “There have been season-ending losses that didn’t bother me as much.

“I’m sideways about it. My feelings are hurt. I’m shook up.”

Randall is mainly torn up because the Wildcats don’t seem to be executing what they practice every day.

White Plains opened an early 9-2 lead, but Oliver Springs tied the game at 16 at quarter’s end and the Wildcats never led again until about two minutes remained.

The Bobcats pushed ahead by five late, but Hightower hit a long 3-pointer to tie it at 62. After a timeout, the Wildcats got beat on the inbounds play and tripped the ball handler from behind to set up the winning free throws.

“Eli carried us,” Randall said. “The 3 he hit was a contested 23-footer from deep and one of those you had to have the guts to take it, and he simply buried it. It was a big-time shot that should bring him some confidence.”

Jerod Guthrie was the only other White Plains scorer in double figures. He had 14.

Jemison Tournament

Oxford 63, Central Coosa 57: The Yellow Jackets had trouble out of gate, but in the end had enough to get through to the second round.

Looking for some additional firepower following now that they’ve lost Querriun Mason, Braden Jones and Jakolbie McClendon carried the Jackets offensively and Jalen Moore played with what coach Joel VanMeter called “great confidence” on the perimeter.

Jones, a sophomore who VanMeter said is “starting to become a go-to guy,” led the Jackets with 25 points. McClendon scored 22. Moore had 10 with three 3-pointers. They combined for 18 of Oxford’s 20 points in the fourth quarter.

“We struggled due to the layoff,” VanMeter said, “but we learned how to win a game when everything wasn’t clicking.”

The Jackets play Coosa Christian Tuesday at 4:30.

Dwight Madison Classic

Anniston 78, Central Hayneville 58: Willie Thomas led four Anniston scorers in double figures with 20 points. He scored 10 of his points in the second quarter, 19 in the last three quarters.

Tray Croft scored all 15 of his points in the second half. DeQuan Ross scored eight of his 13 in the second quarter. Tae Miller had a couple 3-pointers within his 10 points.

The Bulldogs play host Carver-Montgomery 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Sacred Heart 62, Ramsay 49: The Cardinals used a big third quarter (22-14) to stretch their lead to double digits and gain a measure of revenge after falling to the Rams last week.


Anniston 78, Central Hayneville 56

ANNISTON – Marrio Dobbins 0 1-4 1, Tray Croft 6 2-4 15, Hakeem Ross 4 0-0 9, Davion Tippins 2 0-2 4, Willie Thomas 7 5-10 20, DeQuan Ross 6 1-2 13, Jarvis Jackson 0 0-0 0, Chris Beard 2 0-0 4, Tae Miller 4 0-1 10, Trevonta Carter 0 2-2 2, Tareeq Wood Packer 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 11-25 78.

CENTRAL HAYNEVILLE — Rowonn Raberry 1 2-4 2, Keon Davis 0 3-4 3, Cornelius Taylor 2 0-0 6, Malak Hill 7 2-6 16, Jalavious Robinson 2 0-0 4, Jaquez Bolling 4 0-3 8, Diamonta Johnson 0 1-2 1, Adrian Taylor 5 4-7 14. Totals 21 12-26 56.

Anniston 13 25 18 22 — 78
Cent.-Hayneville 6 22 18 10 — 56

3-point goals: Anniston 5 (Croft, H. Ross, Thomas, Miller 2); Central 2 (C. Taylor 2). Total fouls: Anniston 20, Central 19.

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