E.A. Sports Today

JCA falls to 4

Loss to Cedar Bluff drops Thunder into area tournament play-in game; Tigers still have shot at No. 1

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Christian boys basketball team knows where it will be in the upcoming Class 1A Area 13 tournament. It’s the rest of the area that’s a jumbled mess.

Cedar Bluff stayed on track for a chance to be the No. 1 seed and host in the tournament Thursday night when it topped the Thunder 77-62.

JCA (7-11) got it close late in the second quarter, but the ninth-ranked Tigers (14-8) pulled away with the last six points of the half, then their two leading scorers took over.

That was the easy part. Here’s where it gets complicated.

Cedar Bluff plays Spring Garden Friday with a number of playoff scenarios in play — all of them riding on a stroke of luck.

If the Tigers win, they’ll force a coin flip with No. 10 Coosa Christian for the top seed and hosting rights. If they lose, Spring Garden and Coosa have the flip and the Tigers will fall the No. 3 — to play the loser of the coin toss in the semifinals.

JCA and Gaylesville are locked into the 4/5 play-in game, with the winner playing the winner of the coin toss.

“We know where we’re going to be now,” Thunder coach Tommy Miller said.

Isaiah Jones and Davion Fife led Cedar Bluff in scoring Thursday with 25 and 23 points, respectively. They combined for 36 of the Tigers’ 41 points in the second half and each scored 10 in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers opened a 24-7 lead early in the second quarter, then JCA eighth-grader Antwon Fegans got hot and brought the Thunder back.

Fegans scored 12 of his 19 points in the second quarter helping the Thunder close to 28-24 with 2:35 left in the half. Jayni Mosley made it a 30-26 game moments later, but the Thunder got no closer.

It was a nine-point game after Fegans opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to take control.

“I felt like if we could’ve gotten into single digits before the end of the third quarter, the perception – the momentum — would have been different and we would have had a shot to get back in it at the end,” Miller said. “But Cedar Bluff did a good job of doing what they had to do.”

Cedar Bluff 77, Jacksonville Christian 62

CEDAR BLUFF (14-8) – Rashawn Woods 2 0-0 4, Isaiah Jones 11 2-2 25, Davion Fife 9 3-8 23, Jordan McElroy 1 2-4 4, Ivory Starr 2 0-0 4, Michael Croft 5 1-4 13, DeAndre Autry 2 0-0 4, Ross Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 8-18 77.

JCA (7-11) – Jimbo Tolbert 1 0-0 3, Jayni Mosley 5 0-0 10, Walker Messer 3 3-4 10, Jayden Mitchell 4 1-2 9, Antwon Fegans 7 5-8 19, Reed Murphy 4 3-4 11. Totals 24 12-18 62.

Cedar Bluff 20 16 21 20 — 77
JCA 5 21 20 16 — 62

3-point goals: Cedar Bluff 5 (Jones, Fife 2, Croft 2); JCA 2 (Tolbert, Messer). Total fouls: Cedar Bluff 16, JCA 13. Officials: Crawford, Strott, Kelley.

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