E.A. Sports Today

Jags jump on Jackets early

Monday basketball: Mae Jemison hits Oxford with six 3-pointers in the first quarter; Talladega holds on in Round-Robin

Monday’s Games
al.com Classic
at Mae Jemison H.S.
Madison Academy 53, Grissom 52
Austin 63, Lavergne 54
Sparkman 69, Columbia 48
Mountain Brook 85, Madison County 28
James Clemens 55, Muscle Shoals 54
Huntsville 54, St. John Paul II 49
Hazel Green 63, Bob Jones 58
Mae Jemison 70, Oxford 56

Talladega Christmas Round Robin
Coosa Central 66, Talladega Co. Central 6`
Talladega 66, Shelby County 62

By East Alabama Sports Today
The Oxford Yellow Jackets played hard. They were athletic. They won the second half. The only thing they couldn’t overcome was Mae Jemison’s hot start from behind the 3-point arc.

Jemison hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter and it was the push it needed to beat the Yellow Jackets 70-56 in the final game of Monday night’s opening round of the AL.com Classic (formerly the Huntsville Times Classic).

The Jaguars were 6-of-9 from behind the arc against Oxford’s zone in the first quarter while opening a 24-7 lead. They were 9-of-18 from 3-point range in the game.

“Don’t get me wrong, that’s what a good team does when you come out and play them zone,” Oxford coach Joel VanMeter said. “You’ve got to play teams a certain way and if they make six 3s you’ve got to give it to them.

“Our guys played hard, they played athletic; they were blocking (six) shots at the rim. They’re making six 3s and we’re getting shots, we just didn’t get anything to fall. If they were 6-for-9, we were 0-for-9.”

Actually, the Jackets were 3-of-9 from behind the arc in the first half. They were 19-of-48 from the floor overall in the game, 6-of-21 from 3-point range.

Playing a man defense the second half, the Jackets held the Jags to 31 points and outscored them by six.

“I was excited,” VanMeter said. “I told (his players) I’ve watched these guys (Jemison) on tape a couple times. They got people down like they got you down and it ends up being 35-, 40-point game. You guys weren’t going to get beat that way; you have too much pride to. I was pleased with that.

“The reason you play in this tournament is for the experience. … I thought it gave us everything we wanted and it showed our guys we can play at this level. We might not have believed it and needed something to tell us we could, but maybe now we do believe it.”

Jamison’s John Petty led all scorers with 21 points. The Alabama signee also had six assists and five rebounds. Eugene Leonard led four Oxford double-figure scorers with 17.

Jakolbe McClendon made his season debut for Oxford. The North-South All-Star had been sidelined with a torn meniscus he sustained during football season. He played nearly 17 minutes off the bench Monday, scoring two points on 1-of-7 shooting and grabbing four rebounds.

He beat VanMeter’s expectations by a mile.

“I was hoping he would be game speed more toward county tournament time,” VanMeter said. “He came out tonight and looked like he’d been playing. There are plays he’s gonna make if he had been playing that he probably didn’t make tonight, but if I told you this was his first game from having a torn meniscus, you’d be like, you’re crazy.

“I was real pleased with how he played. He moved well. I was worried he was gonna get winded. He never got too winded and played hard. He looked himself, surprisingly. I was shocked. That tells you if he’s already at that point hopefully it’s only gonna get better.”

The Yellow Jackets (8-5) will play Bob Jones (6-8) Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. A win will move them into the consolation bracket at the VonBraun Center.

Talladega 66, Shelby County 62

TALKADEGA — Ashton Duncan scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter and 14 in the second half as the Tigers held on in their first game of the Talladega Christmas Round-Robin.

Duncan also dealt six assists. Jae-Lyn Russ scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, while ever-ready Fred Dickerson knocked down 11 points and dished out six assists.

Shelby County’s Brandon Green scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half as the Wildcats rallied from a 23-16 first-quarter deficit to a 32-31 halftime lead. It stayed close the rest of the way and was a one-point game with as much as 2:12 to play.

Mae Jemison 70, Oxford 56
OXFORD (8-5) –
Markise Davis 1-5 0-0 3, Kendrick 4-9 0-0 11, Eugene Leonard 4-8 8-11 17, Zondrick Garrett 5-8 0-0 10, Braden Mack 3-5 4-5 11, Simeon Shadrix 0-2 0-0 0, Jakolbe McClendon 1-7 0-0 2, Caden Higgins 0-1 0-0 0, Ty Davis 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 19-48 12-16 56.

MAE JEMISON (15-4) – Brandon McCarver 5-8 1-4 11, Jamar Jackson 3-6 0-0 8, DeVontae Lanier 4-8 0-1 8, Brandon Nicholas 4-11 2-2 14, John Petty 7-12 4-4 21, L.J. Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Brandon Crosby 0-2 0-0 0, Tony Toney 1-1 0-1 2, Quay Gurley 2-4 0-0 4, Nathaniel Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Ricky Griffin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 7-12 70.

Oxford 7 12 18 19 — 56
Mae Jemison 24 15 15 16 — 70

3-point goals: Oxford 6-21 (M. Davis 1-4, Foster 3-6, Leonard 1-2, Garrett 0-2, Mack 1-2, Shadrix 0-2, McClendon 0-2, Higgins 0-1); Mae Jemison 9-18 (Jackson 2-3, Nicholas 4-9, Petty 3-5, Crosby 0-1). Rebounds: Oxford 36 (Garrett 7, M. Davis 5); Mae Jemison 25 (Lanier 5, Petty 5). Total fouls: Oxford 11, Mae Jemison 15.

Talladega 66, Shelby County 62
Cory Martin 4 0-0 9, Chadwyn Russ 0 2-2 2, Elliott Nash 2 1-1 5, Brock Phillips 0 0-0 0, Brandon Green 9 2-2 25, Nathan Bates 5 0-0 13, Austin Lucas 2 0-0 4, Camden Roulier 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 5-5 62.

TALLADEGA – Fred Dickerson 3 2-3 11, Chaztin Tanner 1 1-2 4, Tyrese Scales 1 0-0 2, Jarvius McKinney 1 0-0 2, Ashton Duncan 6 4-6 19, Chrishawn Williams 1 0-0 2, TraShaundre Baldwin 0 0-0 0, Robert Houston 4 0-0 8, Jermonte Twymon 0 2-2 2, Jae-lyn Russ 7 2-4 16. Totals 24 11-62.

Shelby County 16 16 19 11 — 62
Talladega 23 8 20 15 — 66

3-point goals: Shelby County 9 (Martin, Green 5, Bates 3); Talladega 7 (Dickerson 3, Tanner, Duncan 3). Total fouls: Shelby County 15, Talladega 9. Officials: Smith, Douthitt, Caldwell.

Tuesday’s Games
Albertville Civitans Christmas Classic
Fairview vs. Cherokee County, 5:30 p.m.
Albertville vs. Moody, 7 p.m.

Big Orange Classic, Hoover
Anniston vs. Wenonah, 9 a.m.
Haleyville vs. Etowah, 9 a.m.
Sylacauga vs. Central Tuscaloosa, 10:30 a.m.
Pinson Valley vs. Clarke County, 10:30 a.m.
Fayette County vs. Fairfield, noon
Helena vs. Gadsden City, noon
Carver vs. Hoover, 1:30 p.m.
Osborne vs. Saraland, 1:30 p.m.
Anniston vs. Haleyville or Etowah, 3:30 p.m.

al.com Classic
at Mae Jemison H.S.
Oxford vs. Bob Jones, 1:30 p.m.

Tournament of Champions, Atlanta
Jefferson (NY) vs. McEachern (Ga.), 11 a.m.
Spain Park vs. Westside (Ga.), 12:45 p.m.
Velma Jackson (Miss.) vs. Whitfield Academy (Ga.), 2:30 p.m.
Sacred Heart vs. Miller Grove (Ga.), 4:15 p.m.

22nd Annual Hilton Sandestin Beach Blowout
First-round games
White Plains vs. Notre Dame (Tenn.), 7:30 p.m.
Starrs Mill (Ga.) vs. Lakeshore (La.), 9 a.m.
Cookeville (Tenn.) vs. St. Paul’s, 10:30 a.m.
Blount (Tenn.) vs. Bayside Academy, noon
Hughes (Ohio) vs. St. Benedict (Tenn.), 1:30 p.m.
Freeport (Fla.) vs. Stewarts Creek, 3 p.m.
Paxton (Fla.) vs. Ft. Dale, 4:30 p.m.
Lexington (S.C.) vs. Maclay (Fla.), 6 p.m.

Talladega Christmas Round Robin
Shelby County vs. Coosa Central, 6 p.m.
Talladega Co. Central vs. Talladega, 7:30 p.m.

On the cover: Talladega and Shelby County battle it out in the opening round of the Talladega Christmas Round-Robin

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