E.A. Sports Today

PV gets County Tournament win

First-round victory on the big local stage just another step in the Raiders’ development under McCoy; includes updated boys pairings

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Ryan McCoy was brought to Pleasant Valley this summer to help rebuild its basketball program. It’s a process that takes several steps and the Raiders took a big one Saturday night.

The 11th-seeded Raiders won their first Calhoun County Tournament game in four years and the third in more than 30 years when they beat Donoho 68-54 at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

They now meet a likely underseeded No. 6 Alexandria team Monday at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s nice to do it,” McCoy said. “I don’t know how many, (the) last time. I never asked when I took the job. I didn’t preach that to them. All I know is they get to come back for another night.

“I didn’t know if they’d ever done it before – don’t know, don’t care – but for me if we’re looking at this the way I want to do it, you need to be at least two nights if not more as you go.

“I know they wanted to rebuild; we’re in that process. Everything my bunch has done is new, that’s what I can go off of. It’s not great, but it’s better than they were when we started.”

Josh Preston, whose dad’s first PV team four seasons ago scored the school’s most recent county tournament win, led the Raiders (8-11) with 15 points. Reid Hightower had 12 and Dakota Jones had 11. Nine players scored for the Raiders.

“This tournament I feel like we have a chance to get a run, because we’ve had some success this year,” Preston said. “When we got our draw that we did, I felt like we got a pretty good one and we can have some success.

“I look at it as some games we get to come out here on a big stage and get some experience like that, so if we do go on to bigger and better things past the area tournament we’ll be ready for that.”

The Raiders took control of the game early as Donoho could get nothing to fall form the field. The Falcons didn’t score their first field goal of the game until 1:40 before halftime, and by then the Raiders had a 28-10 lead.

Garrett Steed led Donoho with 15 points.

It was 32-12 at halftime. The Raiders were up by 24 early in the fourth quarter when the Falcons made a mini-run and got within nine.

The win was significant for the Raiders on a number of other developmental fronts. McCoy won a county tournament game in his first attempt and it marked the first time the Raiders have won a first-round game in a tournament this season.

“What I look at in any tournament, you play in tournaments you learn how to do it for that area tournament, and that’s what I’ve been trying to tell them,” McCoy said. “We hadn’t done so well at Thanksgiving, didn’t at Christmas; now, you’ve played your way into the winner’s bracket of a tournament now let’s see what you do.”

Even though he hadn’t played or coached in this tournament before, McCoy was very familiar with the event having recruited it for many years as a member of his father Brent’s Snead State coaching staff. McCoy and his dad met a few feet off the court after the game Saturday.

“A win around this place is not bad,” McCoy said. “This is a pretty good deal. For them, they get to play two nights in the County Tournament. I don’t know how many in the past it’s been, but I know at least it’s this year, and that’s all I’m really worried about. They’re getting another big stage to play on.”

Pleasant Valley 68, Donoho 54

DONOHO (6-10) – Reaves Nelson 0 0-2 0, Garrett Steed 3 9-15 15, Ross Svensen 1 0-0 3, Mateen Ibrahim 2 1-2 7, Joseph O’Neill 0 1-2 1, Ross Hagan 1 0-0 3, Tucker Sedmak 3 1-2 9, Mitchell Baker 3 3-5 9, Wilson Russell 1 3-6 5, Walton Montgomery 0 1-2 1, Robert Clausen 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 20-38 54.

PLEASANT VALLEY (8-11) – Josh Preston 6 2-3 15, Dakota Jones 3 4-4 11, Caden Turner 2 0-0 5, Marshall Smith 2 1-2 5, Josh Faucett 2 2-2 6, Reid Hightower 3 5-6 12, Jordan Landers 0 0-0 0, Nick Robbins 1 0-2 2 Jordan Lambert 0 0-1 0, Cantor Knight 0 0-0 0, Drew Angel 0 0-0 0, Chase Craven 2 0-2 4, Jacob Mobley 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 14-22 68.

Donoho 2 10 18 24 — 54
Pleasant Valley 12 20 15 21 — 68

3-point goals: Donoho 6 (Svensen, Ibrahim 2, Hagan, Sedmak 2); Pleasant Valley 4 (Preston, Jones, Turner, Hightower). Fouled out: Steed. Technical fouls: Clausen, Donoho bench, Angel. Total fouls: Donoho 20, Pleasant Valley 29. Officials: Self, Gilmore, Craddock.

Saturday’s results

No. 12 Faith Christian 58, No. 13 Wellborn 54
No. 11 Pleasant Valley 68, No. 14 Donoho 54

Monday’s games
No. 10 Ohatchee vs. No. 15 JCA, 10:30 a.m.
No. 8 Piedmont vs. No. 9 Jacksonville, 1:30 p.m.
No. 5 Oxford vs. No. 12 Faith Christian, 4:30 p.m.
No. 6 Alexandria vs. No. 11 Pleasant Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s game
No. 7 Weaver vs. Ohatchee-JCA winner, 6 p.m.

Jan. 20
No. 4 Saks vs. Oxford-Faith Christian winner, 5:30 p.m.
No. 1 Sacred Heart vs. Piedmont-Jacksonville winner, 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 21
No. 3 White Plains vs. Alexandria-PV winner, 4 p.m.
No. 2 Anniston vs. Weaver/Ohatchee-JCA winner, 7 p.m.

Jan. 22
Semifinals, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals, 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 23
Championship, 8 a.m.

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