E.A. Sports Today

Piedmont pushes on

Piedmont takes out Wellborn in 8/9 game of county tournament for fourth straight win, faces No. 1 Sacred Heart next

Piedmont guard Cardavion Myers (10) gets between Wellborn’s Blake Hanson (23) and and Kelvin Evans during their Calhoun County Tournament game Saturday night. On the cover, Piedmont’s Easton Kirk looks for a lane to drive. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/KrispPics Photography)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — The Calhoun County Tournament is usually the time Piedmont’s basketball team starts getting its court rhythm back from a fall’s worth of football and the Bulldogs typically point to it as their as the jumping off point for postseason success.

The tournament started Saturday and the Bulldogs looked ready to begin a run.

Placing four scoring in double figures, they took care of Wellborn in the 8/9-seed game 79-64 for their fourth win in a row. Up next is top-ranked and top-seeded Sacred Heart Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum.

“We don’t have the best record, so we hadn’t started out as good as we have the last couple years,” senior post Austin Brazier said. “But I think we’ve won four this week, so I think we’re on a roll. This is usually when we pick it up — in January, anyway — so maybe it will carry on.”

“We’re starting to get hot shooting the ball and just everybody’s starting to get into basketball rhythm,” senior shooter Easton Kirk added. “It takes a while to get in shape and get in the rhythm of basketball. I’m pretty sure our whole team is starting to get in the rhythm about right now. It’s taken us a little longer this year than it has in the past, but I think we’re about to come around.”

Brazier led Piedmont with 20 points, 10 rebounds – seven off the offensive glass – and five assists. Easton Kirk (15), Cardavion Myers (13) and Taylor Hayes (10) also scored in double figures for the Bulldogs. Kirk hit four 3-pointers and also grabbed seven rebounds.

The Bulldogs (8-10) took control of the game with a 19-0 run in the final four minutes of the second quarter. It staked them to a 39-19 halftime lead.

“We needed to get ahead of them because we knew Blake (Hanson) would get hot eventually,” Kirk said. “If he got hot and it was a close game it would be a tough game to win, but if we could pull ahead and then he got hot it wouldn’t be near as hard.”

Hanson did get hot in the second half. He scored 29 of his game-high 33 points in the half, but by then the Bulldogs were far enough ahead to minimize the damage.

Wellborn played the game without Jordan Montgomery, whose long frame would have helped on defense and rebounding. Montgomery was at Samford on a football recruiting visit and while there was some hope he might have been able to make it back for the game, he let them know earlier in the day it wasn’t going to be possible.

Piedmont coach Tommy Lewis said the absence of Montgomery took a little luster off the victory. Wellborn coach Jordan Angle, meanwhile, was appreciative of the effort of the players who played in the game gave.

“The boys that were here were spectacular,” Angle said. “I proud of my boys who were here.”

Piedmont 79, Wellborn 64
PIEDMONT (8-10) –
A.J. Fairs 4 0-0 8, Cardavion Myers 6 1-4 13, Taylor Hayes 3 5-4 10, Derrick Baer 0 0-0 0, Easton Kirk 5 1-4 15, Carl Myers 3 0-0 8, Shane McCord 0 0-0 0, Austin Brazier 8 4-4 20, T.J. Fairs 1 0-0 3, Kaedon Jenkins 1 0-0 2. Totals 31 10-17 79.

WELLBORN – Mitchell Raines 0 1-2 1, Eric Johnson 6 0-2 13, Devin Machristie 6 0-0 14, Ked Harris 1 0-0 3, Kameron Goodwin 0 0-0 0, Austin Cooper 0 0-0 0, Blake Hanson 12 8-9 33, Kelvin Evans 0 0-1 0. Totals 25 9-14 64.

Piedmont 12 27 20 20 — 79
Wellborn 9 10 25 20 — 64

3-point goals: Piedmont 7 (Kirk 4, Cl. Myers 2, T. Fairs); Wellborn 5 (Johnson, Machristie 2, Harris, Hanson). Technical fouls: Johnson, Hanson. Total fouls: Piedmont 13, Wellborn 17. Officials: Larkins, Corley, Brown.

Wellborn’s Blake Hanson drives to the basket against the defense of Austin Brazier (22). Hanson led all scorers on the opening day of the Calhoun County Tournament with 33 points.

To see more of Kristen Stringer’s photos from the Calhoun County Tournament, visit www.krisppicsphotography.photoreflect.com

You must be logged in to post a comment Login