E.A. Sports Today

All the way back

Cherokee County erases 17-point Anniston lead, wins in overtime on one of Barrington’s 7 3-pointers; Anniston led 19-2 at one point in the first quarter

Cherokee County's Kyle Burgess (10) and Jacob Graves (2) close in on Anniston guard Marrio Dobbins. On the cover, DeMarcus Barrington launches one of his seven 3-pointers that helped the Warriors win in overtime. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Cherokee County’s Kyle Burgess (10) and Jacob Graves (2) close in on Anniston guard Marrio Dobbins. On the cover, DeMarcus Barrington launches one of his seven 3-pointers that helped the Warriors win in overtime. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – It seemed like only yesterday Cherokee County was trailing by 17 and frantically trying to get back into a game. Oh, wait, it was yesterday.

The Warriors found themselves in a similar predicament they were in the night before in a tight loss to another ranked opponent, but this time they managed to dig themselves all the way out and scored a dramatic 61-59 win over 4A No. 5 Anniston Saturday at Jacksonville State.

“We just kind of stuck with it,” Warriors coach Neal Wester said. “I was real proud of our kids just playing hard and not giving up.”

The No. 7 Warriors rallied from a 17-point deficit to get within one in the final minute in a loss at White Plains Friday night. This time they had the same deficit, but more time.

They trailed 19-2 in the first quarter in this one. They steadily battled back and, riding DeMarcus Barrington and Ivory Moore in the fourth quarter, eventually took a one-point lead with 1:44 left in regulation.

A three-point play by Marrio Dobbins put Anniston back on top, but the Warriors retied it with 53 seconds left. Barrington threw up a desperation 3 at the buzzer to win it after Anniston missed a go-ahead layup with 7.6 seconds to play.

“It makes a lot better game when you make shots,” Wester said. “We made a few more plays today and their shot didn’t go in at the end. It’s a make or miss game.”

Barrington made a lot of shots, and the biggest shots. He hit the only basket in overtime, a 3-pointer with 1:33 left that staked the Warriors to a 61-58 lead.

Barrington scored 21 points on seven 3-pointers; he had three in the fourth quarter. The Warriors hit 10 treys in the game.

“He shot the ball extremely well,” Anniston coach Torry Brown said. “They were really good rhythm shots.”

Curiously, the junior guard hadn’t been shooting well in recent games although he had been “lighting it up” in practice. He spent about 90 minutes in the gym early Saturday morning looking for his stroke and hit about 190 3-pointers from five stations around the arc and carried that confidence into the game.

“I asked coach if I could get the keys this morning,” Barrington said. “Coach keeps telling me shoot and I hadn’t had confidence in my shot here lately.

“This just makes me happy because I hadn’t really felt my shot here lately. When I released it (in overtime) I knew it was going in.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, couldn’t have started hotter. Finding success inside, seven different players scored for Anniston in the first quarter and it was only because Barrington hit his first 3-pointer at the buzzer it was a 13-point game.

Anniston played for the winning shot at the end of regulation, but attacked the basket a few seconds earlier than desired and Dobbins was cut off in the lane with 7.6 seconds left. The Warriors never really got off a good shot to end it.

“You’ve got to give Cherokee County credit first; they hung in there after that initial surge in the first quarter and they kept playing,” Brown said. “We knew coming in they were a really good team and they were going to make some runs. We knew we were going to make some runs. We were just hoping we would make more runs than they would. It just didn’t happen the second half for us.”

Cherokee County 61, Anniston 59 (OT)
ANNISTON (5-3) –
Marrio Dobbins 4 1-2 11, Jamal West 1 0-2 3, James Haynes 4 1-2 12, Nelson Edmondson 0 0-0 0, Jakoey Bradford 5 1-3 11, Tareeq Packer-Woods 4 0-1 8, Stedman Orr 1 0-0 3, Diante Davis 1 0-0 2, Chance Young 3 0-0 6, Joetavius Embry 1 1-2 3. Totals 24 4-12 59.

CHEROKEE COUNTY (3-1) – Jacob Graves 2 0-1 5, Chris Roden 2 0-0 4, Kyle Burgess 1 0-0 3, Colin Edwards 2 2-2 7, Ivory Moore 3 4-4 10, Marcus Barington 7 0-0 21, Jy Lockridge 1 2-2 4, Will Hawkins 1 0-0 2, Quartez Henderson 1 2-2 4, Riley Russell 0 1-2 1. Totals 20 11-13 61.

Anniston 17 13 16 10 1 — 59
Cherokee Co. 6 14 17 21 3 — 61

3-point goals: Anniston 7 (Dobbins 2, West, Haynes 3, Orr); Cherokee Co. 10 (Graves, Burgess, Edwards, Barington 7). Total fouls: Anniston 12, Cherokee Co. 12.

To see a complete gallery of B.J. Franklin’s pictures from the TV24 Holiday Showcase, visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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