E.A. Sports Today

Teamwork makes the dream work

Top-seeded White Plains puts four scorers in double figures to outduel Horton, Jacksonville in 4A Area 11 tournament opener

Jacksonville's Cam Horton (4) filled the box score in the final game of his high school career Friday night. He had 32 points, eight rebounds and a lot more. (Photo by Stephen Miller)

Jacksonville’s Cam Horton (4) filled the box score in the final game of his high school career Friday night. He had 32 points, eight rebounds and a lot more. (Photo by Stephen Miller)

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

White Plains may not be the biggest team or the strongest in the area. It may not have the prototypical big men down low or even the amazing athlete who can play lights-out without even breaking a sweat.

But there is one thing this team can do really well: Play as a team, together, when it is most crucial in a game.

The Wildcats advanced for the second year in a row to the finals of the Class 4A Area 11 tournament, this time beating Cam Horton and the Jacksonville Golden Eagles 72-64.

After the game head coach Chris Randall put his hands on his head as he breathed a sigh of relief. He knew his team would not finish its season Tuesday and once again could possibly put another year up as area champs.

“You just don’t know how good this feels right now,” Randall said. “I can’t even begin to explain what it feels like to lose early in the area tournament. For the seniors, that is it, it’s all over for them and it’s just not a good feeling.

“I’m so darn proud of them though. Tonight, we didn’t shoot the ball as well as we could have (they were 27-of-55), but we played with heart and as a team and sometimes as a coach that is all you can ask for.”

The Wildcats battled with the Golden Eagles the entire game. Horton was electric for Jacksonville and carried the team on his back as he had 32 points in what was an impressive final game of his high school career.

He filled the box score. He was 10-of-24 from the field, 9-for-9 from the foul line, and had eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and a blocked shot. The only thing he didn’t have was an offensive rebound.

“He is a truly talented player,” Randall said of Horton. “I wish him all the luck in the world in college, but I am glad we do not have to face him anymore. I thought we played him well tonight and he still went for 32. That just shows you how special of a player he is.”

Horton and an array of Wildcats traded shots from the first quarter through the fourth. White Plains led by only two at the half and it left everyone in the arena to wonder whether the Wildcats outshoot Horton in the second half.

Murphy Doss stepped up to answer the question. Doss had six points to end the third quarter and another basket to start the fourth, a flurry that created enough distance to keep the Wildcats on top.

“It felt so good when I scored those points,” Doss said. “But it is not about me, it is about this team and what we are able to accomplish when we are playing consistent defense and solid offense together. We just have to stay focused and carry it over to the next game.”

That would be Thursday night against Saks.

Doss was one of seven players to score for White Plains and four in double figures. He finished with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor, and grabbed eight rebounds. Lawrence Jackson led the Wildcats with 16 points while Michael McGuirk had 13 points with eight rebounds.

Jacksonville was in the thick of it for most of the game, but could not spread the ball around enough to outlast the Wildcats. Rivan Hill was second to Horton in scoring with eight points, while Casey Trull had seven points with six rebounds.

Last year, White Plains faced Saks in the area championship game at Saks. This year the teams will be the same, but there’s a difference – this year it’s at White Plains.

“It is so important to get that game here,” Doss said. “I think that this home court advantage is key to our success. We have such great fans and such a great atmosphere that we are going to be a tough team to beat come Thursday.

“We just have to play our game.”


White Plains 72, Jacksonville 64

JACKSONVILLE – Cam Horton 10-24 9-9 32, Rivan Hill 2-10 4-4 8, Casey Trull 3-6 1-2 7, Taye Ackles 1-5 3-5 6, Alex Gilbert 2-2 0-0 5, Will Fuller 1-2 0-0 2, Tahj Kirkland 1-4 0-0 2, Aaron Bragg 1-1 0-0 2, Jay Davis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-64 16-19 64.

WHITE PLAINS – Lawrence Jackson 7-12 2-5 16, Murphy Doss 7-9 0-0 14, Michael McGuirk 4-13 4-6 13, Kevin Carr 4-8 2-3 11, Jerod Guthrie 1-5 4-4 7, Eli Hightower 2-5 0-0 6, Macey Carr 2-4 1-2 0, Marquez Wyatt 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 13-20 72.

Jacksonville 13 15 12 24 — 64
White Plains 17 13 16 26 — 72

3-point goals: Jacksonville 6-26 (Horton 3-13, Hill 1-5, Ackles 1-5, Gilbert 1-1, Kirkland 2-2); White Plains 5-16 (McGuirk 1-5, K. Carr 1-3, Guthrie 1-4, Hightower 2-4). Rebounds: Jacksonville 31 (Horton 8, Trull 6). White Plains 38 (Doss 8, McGuirk 8). Fouled out: Jackson. Total fouls: Jacksonville 18, White Plains 19.

White Plains' Macey Carr (24) and Jacksonville's Cam Horton fight for a rebound in Friday's area tournament game. (Photo by Stephen Miller)

White Plains’ Macey Carr (24) and Jacksonville’s Cam Horton fight for a rebound in Friday’s area tournament game. (Photo by Stephen Miller)

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