E.A. Sports Today

Cardinals nest atop area

Sacred Heart runs through Faith Christian’s plan to it slow down, Cardinals drop 100 in winning another area title

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

“Wow!” was the exclamation of a Faith Christian fan as he looked at the scoreboard in the first quarter and saw his Lions were already down more than 20 with 3:44 left in it.

Wow was right, as Sacred Heart, the class of Class A, put on another dazzling performance Saturday night en route to a 100-42 1A Area 12 championship victory over Faith Christian at the Anniston Aquatic Center.

The top-ranked Cardinals (23-8) will host Talladega County Central in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. subregionals, while the Lions will travel to Winterboro. The winners advance to the Northeast Regional.

Prior to the game Faith coach Brad Yarbrough spoke of how he was going to try and slow down the Cardinals. “We have to make them take tough shots and we have to take good shots and make those shots,” he said.

The Cardinals never let that game plan unfold as they came out with stunning precision and used a tenacious full-court press to bolt to a 12-0 lead in the first two minutes. It went to 26-4 and then 35-10 at the end of one quarter.

Diante Wood had 13 first-quarter points and D.J. Heath nine to stake the Cardinals to the huge lead. The stunning team performance continued as they role to a 62-17 halftime lead.

The Sacred Heart press created 25 turnovers and four Cardinals were in double figure scoring by the half — even with time spent on the bench.

“We came out and played really well,” Cardinals coach Ralph Graves said. “Our intensity was at a very high level and we played very well as a team and all together. Nobody cared who scored and we just worried about playing team ball. I am very happy with the way we played together.”

Wood left the game in the third quarter with 27 points and seven rebounds. Murdock Simmons came off the bench to score 27 points and grab nine boards; he had 11 of the Cardinals’ 18 fourth-quarter points. Heath had 13 points and Kavarri Ross 11.

“We are on a mission to win another state championship,” Graves said. “To do that we have to play at a high level and our kids know that. All of our kids are focused on working hard to get back there again.”

Faith Christian (14-12) was led by Jack Sills’ 19 points.

Miller, Ross and Wood made the All-Area team for the Cardinals. McCord and Jordan Griswold were selected from Faith.

Sacred Heart 100, Faith Christian 42

SACRED HEART (23-8) — Diante Wood 12 3-4 27, Kavarri Ross 5 0-0 11, Samuel Miller 2 1-1 5, Murdock Simmons 11 2-2 27, Caleb Lafollette 0 0-0 0, Stephen Stansil 2 0-0 4, Jonriley Miller 1 1-2 3, Kevion Nolan 3 0-1 6, Jaylen Croft 1 1-2 4, D.J. Heath 6 0-0 13. Totals 43 8-12 100.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (14-12) — Caleb McCord 3 2-3 8, Jordan Griswold 0 0-0 0, Jameson Adams 3 0-0 6, David Wall 0 2-3 2, Grant Martin 0 0-0 0, Jack Sills 7 5-8 19, Michael Kulick 1 0-0 2, Jameson Thacker 0 0-0 0, Alex Taylor 2 0-0 5, Julien Key 0 0-1 0. Totals 16 9-15 42.

Faith Christian 10 7 13 12 — 42
Sacred Heart 35 27 20 18 — 100

3-point goals: Faith 1 (Taylor); Sacred Heart 6 (Ross, Simmons, Heath, Croft).

You must be logged in to post a comment Login