E.A. Sports Today

Wood hard on the hardwood

White Plains junior Shelby Wood shines as Wildcats cruise over Faith Christian; includes updated county girls schedule

White Plains' Shelby Wood (22) moves in to steal the ball from Faith Christian's Madison Stephens during their Calhoun County Tournament game Saturday. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

White Plains’ Shelby Wood (22) moves in to steal the ball from Faith Christian’s Madison Stephens during their Calhoun County Tournament game Saturday. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/Krisp Pics Photography)

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The idea of playing in a sizable arena in a major tournament can be a bit overwhelming for young high school players. For White Plains junior Shelby Wood, it’s just another game to be played.

“I just play basketball when I’m here,” Wood said. “I love playing in this type of atmosphere. It usually makes people uncomfortable, but I really thrive on it.”

Wood and her White Plains teammates thrived and survived Saturday, beating Faith Christian 36-22 in a battle of defenses that favored the Lady Wildcats for the entirety of the game.

Wood accounted for six steals in the first half and 12 points that allowed for a 27-15 halftime lead.

The absence of Hannah Barno (groin injury) allowed Wood and others to step up throughout the night and the development of depth was not necessarily a bad thing for this team as it tries to advance deeper into this tournament. Next up for the Lady Wildcats is fifth-seeded Piedmont Monday at 6 p.m.

“(Hannah) is a really good defender,” Wood said. “In her absence we have to spread the ball out more and that allows other players to step up and play well.”

Wood’s success carried into the second half as her matchup against Faith senior Madison Stephens proved to be well worth the watch. The two battled most of the game with Wood getting the upper hand time and time again.

The White Plains defense held Faith to single-digit scoring in each quarter.

“Since we are not a very tall team, defense is key to our success,” Wood said.

The second half proved to be less prolific offensively as White Plains scored six points in the third and held Faith to four.

Rian Chandler scored eight points and had five steals as she backed up Wood in each category. Carley Wood had six points.

By the fourth quarter, the game was all but over as White Plains put the car on cruise control as Faith could do nothing but stand and watch another chance at a decent county run fall to the wayside.

Emily Sills was a bright spot for the Lady Lions as she led the team in scoring with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Madison Stephens had seven points and six rebounds while eighth-grader Sydnee Johnson had four.

The Lady Wildcats will be playing a familiar opponent in the next round. They just beat Piedmont – for the second time this season — 35-29 on Thursday.
“We have to go look at the film again on Piedmont,” White Plains coach Joi Watts said. “They always say it is hard to beat a team three times, but this is exciting to play in this type of environment. I’m probably more nervous than my players, but we will be ready for the game on Monday.”

White Plains 36, Faith Christian 22

WHITE PLAINS – Shelby Wood 5 1-2 12, Carley Wood 2 0-0 4, Ann Katherine Dothard 2 1-4 5, Korie Burgess 1 1-2 3, Rian Chandler 4 0-0 8, Grey Young 0 0-0 0, Mary Clare Young 1 0-0 2, Jocelyn Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Chasity Nelson 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 2-8 36.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (8-7) — Logan Boyd 0 0-0 0, Kristan Covington 0 0-0 0, Emily Sills 4 0-0 11, Madison Stephens 3 0-2 7, Ashleigh Mockabee 0 0-0 0, Sarah Jessica Christjohn 0 0-0 0, Sydnee Johnson 2 0-0 4, Regan Crosby 0 0-0 0, Zana Christjohn 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 0-2 22.

Faith Christian 9 6 4 5 — 22
White Plains 18 9 6 3 — 36

3-Point Goals: White Plains 1 (S. Wood); Faith Christian 3 (Sills 2, Stephens 1). Total Fouls: Faith 11 White Plains 7. Officials: Craddock, Coleman, Gilmore.

Saturday’s game

No. 12 White Plains 36, No. 13 Faith Christian 22

Monday’s games
No. 14 Donoho vs. No. 11 Weaver, 9 a.m.
No. 10 Jacksonville Christian vs. No. 15 Sacred Heart, noon
No. 8 Oxford vs. No. 9 Wellborn, 3 p.m.
No. 5 Piedmont vs. No. 12 White Plains, 6 p.m.

Tuesday’s games
No. 6 Ohatchee vs. Donoho-Weaver winner, 4:30 p.m.
No. 7 Alexandria vs. JCA-Sacred Heart winner, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 20
No. 4 Pleasant Valley vs. Piedmont-White Plains winner, 4 p.m.
No. 1 Anniston vs. Oxford-Wellborn winner, 7 p.m.

Jan. 21
No. 3 Jacksonville vs. Ohatchee/Donoho-Weaver winner, 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 Saks vs. Alexandria/JCA-Sacred Heart winner, 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 22
Semifinals, 4 p.m.
Semifinals, 7 p.m.

Jan. 23
Championship, 6 p.m.

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