E.A. Sports Today

New Hope springs eternal

Indians knock off No. 1 Westbrook Christian; report also includes Saturday’s scoreboard and remaining regional schedule

By Jason Katz
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – The players on the New Hope boys basketball team didn’t look at any rankings. All they saw across the floor was another team that stood in their way.

Ignoring their opponent’s lofty ranking, the Indians knocked off the No. 1 team in the land of 3A boys’ basketball Saturday, Westbrook Christian, 66-47, to play for their first Northeast Regional title in only their second appearance in the tournament.

“We don’t really pay attention to the rankings,” Indians junior guard Omar Jolly said. “Coach told us coming into the game that they were ranked no.1, but we knew that we have played tough teams all year and this was just another one for us to win.”

The Indians (24-3) led after every quarter and did most of their damage in the second and fourth. They scored 22 points off the turnovers they created.

“They just played on our mistakes really well,” Westbrook coach Donny Pruitt said. “When you have a team that plays you that tough and continues over and over to execute on you … they did the things that good basketball teams do. This team did great things this season and it ended on a sour note, but we have to hold our heads up high.”

The game stayed relatively close throughout the early part of the first quarter, but as Westbrook (30-3) started to falter over the second quarter the Indians began pulling away. They led by six at halftime.

“We knew we were smaller and quicker than them,” New Hope coach Joseph Parker said. “Our guard play was spectacular and we finished plays and shots when we needed to. I am very proud of what this team did tonight and also am excited to play next week against another very good team.”

New Hope had been to the Northeast Regional only once before – 2004, and it lost in the semifinals to Litchfield by 12.

Jolly led the Indians with 21 points, including going 7-for-11 from the foul line. Adam Browner had 19 points with 10 rebounds and Bret Clark had six steals.

Garrett Kennedy led the Warriors in scoring 11 points. Chandler Richards had 10 rebounds, but could not convert them to offense as he had only four points.

New Hope will play five-overtime-survivor Plainview for the region title Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.

“We think we are the No. 1 team in the state,” Jolly said. “We just have to prove it to everybody else.”

(all games at Pete Mathews Coliseum, Jacksonville)

Saturday’s Results
3A Girls: Pisgah 60, Pleasant Valley 42
3A Boys: Plainview 74, Piedmont 65 (5 OTs)
3A Girls: Brindlee Mountain 57, Westbrook Christian 42
3A Boys: New Hope 66, Westbrook Christian 47
4A Girls: Saks 61, Westminster Christian 57 (OT)
4A Boys: Westminster Christian 59, White Plains 47
4A Girls: Locust Fork 61, Hokes Bluff 59 (OT)
4A Boys: Cherokee County 45, Priceville 43

Monday’s Games
6A Girls: Fort Payne vs. Huffman, 9 a.m.
6A Boys: Albertville vs. Huffman, 10:30 a.m.
6A Girls: Albertville vs. Shades Valley, noon
6A Boys: Chelsea vs. Center Point, 1:30 p.m.
1A Girls Championship: Spring Garden vs. Winterboro, 3 p.m.
1A Boys Championship: Sacred Heart vs. Winterboro, 4:45 p.m.

Tuesday’s Games
7A Girls Championship: Buckhorn vs. Hewitt-Trussville, 9 a.m.
7A Boys Championship: Gadsden City vs. Spain Park, 10:45 a.m.
5A Girls Championship: Anniston vs. Madison County, 12:30 p.m.
5A Boys Championship: Anniston vs. J.O. Johnson, 2:15 p.m.
2A Girls Championship: Ranburne vs. Ider, 4 p.m.
2A Boys Championship: Cleveland vs. Section, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday’s Games
3A Girls Championship: Pisgah vs. Brindlee Mountain, 9 a.m.
3A Boys Championship: Plainview vs. New Hope, 10:45 a.m.
4A Girls Championship: Saks vs. Locust Fork, 12:30 p.m.
4A Boys Championship: Westminster Christian vs. Cherokee County, 2:15 p.m.
6A Girls Championship, 4 p.m.
6A Boys Championship, 5:45 p.m.

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