E.A. Sports Today

Weaver rides D-train to area finals

Bearcats play one of their better defensive games of the season, will meet host Piedmont for area title

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT — Weaver enjoyed one of its better offensive games of the season Thursday night, but all anyone wanted to talk about in the after-party was defense.

The Bearcats rolled past Pleasant Valley 76-55 in the Class 3A Area 12 semifinals at Piedmont. They will play the host school in the championship game Saturday at 7 p.m.

Weaver had three players score in double figures, but it was their defense the Bearcats would say ruled the day.

They swept the boards and forced turnovers, which they turned into points, and held the third-seeded Raiders to single digits in the first and third quarters. They led 16-9 after the first and 54-38 entering the fourth.

“Our only focus today was to get our defense better,” Bearcats guard Paul Hubbard said. “Everybody help out, everybody rotate; don’t let a man hanging. Everybody do your job.

“Ever since my eighth-grade year defense has been our big offense. It felt like we had six or seven guys on the court how we were playing defense getting down the court.”

They do keep count of points. Malik Hubbard was Weaver’s high scorer with 17 points. Hubbard finished with 15 and Giovanni Mosley had 13.

And it was a spread-the-wealth kind of thing. Hubbard had seven in the first quarter to get the Bearcats started. Mosley had seven in the second quarter and Arnold had eight in the third.

Their defense, meanwhile, was so good, coach Daryl Hamby couldn’t tell any difference in the pressure between the first and second groups. Their press, he said, isn’t designed to force turnovers as much as it is to wear down an opponent.

“I’m really happy with the way they played,” Hamby said. “We’ve still got a tough matchup with Piedmont, who’s playing well right now so it should be a good ballgame. It’ll be important to (play good defense) against Piedmont because they run a good offense.”

The winner of Saturday’s game will host Glencoe in Tuesday’s subregional round. The loser will travel to top-ranked Westbrook Christian.

Weaver 76, Pleasant Valley 55

PLEASANT VALLEY – Josh Preston 1 0-0 2, Dakota Jones 2 1-5 6, Caden Turner 1 3-4 5, Riley Vernon 1 0-0 3, Britton Proper 0 0-0 0, Josh Faucett 7 2-2 17, Reid Hightower 0 0-0 0, Nick Robbins 4 0-0 8, Jordan Lambert 0 0-0 0, Cantor Knight 0 1-2 1, Marshall Smith 4 3-6 11, Chase Craven 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 10-19 55.

WEAVER – Maurice Goodman 2 0-1 4, Craig Copeland 2 2-2 6, Paul Hubbard 7 1-1 15, London Knight 1 4-6 6, Dalton Hamby 3 1-1 7. R.J. Wooden 1 0-0 3, Robert Gaines 0 0-0 0, Giovanni Mosley 5 3-3 13, Malik Arnold 7 3-3 17, Amardric Elston 1 0-0 2, Justin Chapman 0 0-0 0, Ducky Morris 0 0-0 0, Dane Akers 1 0-0 3. Totals 30 14-17 76.

Pleasant Valley 9 11 8 27 — 55
Weaver 16 16 22 22 — 76

3-point goals: PV 3 (Jones, Vernon, Faucett); Weaver 2 (Wooden, Akers). Technical fouls: Weaver bench. Total fouls: PV 13, Weaver 21. Officials: Howell, Kelley, Miller.

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