E.A. Sports Today

Knowing how things get done

Alexandria’s veteran roster makes easy work of Ohatchee as Valley Cubs bounce back from tournament loss

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

Jordan Romine typically is not the most outspoken figure on the Alexandria basketball team, but as the players looked around the locker room for a deserving player to speak for the game they just won, the veteran Romine was the guy everyone said needed to say a few words.

Why not? He is a senior, after all — well, one of six on this team.

“We (seniors) have been playing this game for so long,” Romine said. “Since we were 7 or 8 years old, our goal has been to play for the Valley Cubs and make them proud. When these teams come in here to play us, we have to show them who we are and what we stand for.”

Romine and his Valley Cubs beat Ohatchee 66-41 on Tuesday night in a game that was over from the first minute.

This veteran team, after falling in their second game in the county tournament to White Plains, had one of its most intense defensive and offensive games of the season.

That’s a common occurrence in the rare occasions after the Valley Cubs (14-4) lose.

“When we have a loss, something just lights a fire under us,” sophomore Dalton Dodd said. “After that White Plains loss we just really practiced hard and played with more intensity.”

Being the youngest player on the team Dodd tends to become the target of some good-natured flak for his age, but the team also tends to feed off of his performance — especially against the Indians.

Dodd led the Cubs with 19 points and nine rebounds. Ten of his points came in the first quarter and were highlighted by a big slam dunk.

The rest of the scoring was spread out: Austin Taylor and Riley Shaw had six points apiece. Gerald Murphy and Jamal Tucker each had seven. Romine had five.

“I liked our effort and we pushed the lead up there pretty early,” Cubs coach Jason Johnson said. “We were very intense tonight and we shot the ball really well. It was a good game for us and we still have a few weeks to get better until area starts.”

The Valley Cubs kept the intensity up in the second half with a heavy press that suffocated the Indians and kept them from mounting too much of a comeback.

Junior Austin Tucker led Ohatchee with 19 points, 13 — and all his field goals — in the second half. Tristan Woodall had six points, while sophomores Ben Glass and Kevin Williamson had five apiece.

“We just have to keep working hard,” Dodd said. “The seniors on this team deserve to go to Birmingham and I do, too. So, one day at a time we will keep focusing on that goal and do what is necessary for us to get there.”

The Valley Cubs are a veteran team with all but one player a junior or senior. With that veteran presence, something special might happen down in Alexandria.

“We just want to keep winning games and getting better,” Romine said. “The locker room for us is such a close brotherhood and this team thrives off that closeness. That can take us very far.”

Alexandria 66, Ohatchee 41

OHATCHEE — Ben Glass 2 0-0 5, Kevin Williamson 2 0-0 5, Micah Lee 2 0-0 4, Jon Noel 0 0-0 0, Bryant Dunaway 1 0-0 2, Austin Tucker 6 6-9 19, Brian Jennings 0 0-0 0, Tristan Woodall 2 0-0 6, Sean Barnett 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 6-9 41.

ALEXANDRIA (14-4) — Riley Shaw 2 0-0 6, Austin Taylor 2 0-0 6, A.J. Martin 1 0-0 2, Dalton Dodd 9 0-0 19, Gerald Murphy 3 1-2 7, Cole Nail 1 0-3 3, Jamal Tucker 2 2-2 7, Jordan Romine 2 0-0 5, Caleb Young 2 0-0 5, Marcus Swink 1 1-3 3, Luke Tucker 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 4-10 66.

Ohatchee 8 12 9 12 — 41
Alexandria 24 19 14 9 — 66

3-point goals: Ohatchee 5 (Glass, Williamson, Tucker, Woodall 2); Alexandria 10 (Shaw 2, Taylor 2, Dodd, Nail, J. Tucker, Romine, Young, L. Tucker). Total fouls: Ohatchee 8, Alexandria 13.

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