E.A. Sports Today

Indians finish one

After giving up big leads in their two earlier meetings, Ohatchee finishes off a game with Weaver

Austin Tucker (23) drives to the basket during the fourth-quarter run that gave Ohatchee control of the game. (Photos by Dave Brandsma)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – All Ohatchee wanted to do, needed to do, was finish the game.

Stung by letting their two earlier area meetings with Weaver get away after building nice leads, the 10th-seeded Indians found the determination to close the door. They beat the seventh-seeded Bearcats 65-54 Monday to reach the third round of the Calhoun County Tournament.

They now will play No. 2 Oxford Thursday at 7 p.m.

Leading scorer Austin Tucker said revenge was the big motivator for the Indians in this one. In their two earlier losses to the Bearcats, they were up 13 late in the third quarter in the first meeting and last Friday went on a 19-2 run at the start.

“We talk about finishing the game,” Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn said. “We played well against those guys, but they played better or whatever at the end. We finally said we want to finish a ballgame. No matter what happens, win or lose, let’s finish the game and not let it be on us.”

Mission accomplished.

“They finished, we didn’t,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said. “Paul (Hubbard) has more maturity as anybody as far as experience goes and he understands what can happen when you’re playing a team that’s good enough to beat you, as Ohatchee is, and the way we won.

“I knew Saturday it was going to be hard because it’s a maturity level. You’d better be ready because these guys are hungry and we think we can just do what we want and get by because we have before. I thought they just wanted it more.”

Tucker led Ohatchee with 24 points, making fearless plays at the basket the Bearcats were either unable or unwilling to do or deny. But the Indians got some big minutes from a lot of players.

Grayson Alward had 10 and made a big defensive play against Landon Knight during the fourth-quarter run that won them the game. Domonique Thomas, Ben Glass and Blake Buckelew also were strong on the floor and C.J. Ray was a beast in the post.

“It was a total team effort for a change,” Ginn said.

The Indians finished Weaver early in the fourth quarter. They started the quarter with a 16-0 run that featured six straight points by Tucker and was capped by a wild five-point possession that included an intentional foul, a technical foul and a Ray basket. It took the game from a 40-38 Ohatchee lead to 56-38.

“We really turned it on in the fourth quarter,” Alward said. “It was happening so fast, everybody was moving. It just worked out for us in the end. This definitely boosted our confidence going forward.”

“I think we outhustled them,” Tucker said. “They were too tired to get up and down the court with us,” Tucker said.

The Bearcats got it back to within six with a minute left, but Ohatchee scored the last five points of the game.

Ohatchee 65, Weaver 54
Blake Buckelew 1 1-2 3, Ben Glass 1 5-6 7, Carson Stone 1 0-0 3, Grayson Alward 4 2-4 10, Domonique Thomas 3 0-0 6, Kevin Williamson 0 1-2 1, Brennan Wink 0 2-2 2, Austin Tucker 9 6-6 24, Bayley Tillison 1 0-0 2, C.J. Ray 3 1-2 7. Totals 23 18-24 65.

WEAVER – Maurice Goodman 3 1-1 8, London Knight 4 2-4 11, Robert Gaines 4 1-2 9, Paul Hubbard 5 1-4 11, Dalton Hamby 1 0-0 2, R.J. Wooden 2 0-0 5, Shamar Spinks 1 0-3 2, Amardric Elston 0 6-6 4. Totals 20 11-20 54.

Ohatchee 11 15 14 25 — 65
Weaver 15 8 15 16 — 54

3-point goals: Ohatchee 1 (Stone); Weaver 3 (Goodman, Knight, Wooden). Technical fouls: Tucker, Knight, Hubbard, Weaver coach Hamby. Total fouls: Ohatchee 22, Weaver 23. Officials: Burns, Shirey, McKinney.

Weaver’s London Knight comes down aggressively with a rebound against Ohatchee.

Blake Buckelew was one of several players who gave Ohatchee some good minutes against Weaver.

To enjoy more of Dave Brandsma’s photos from the Calhoun County Tournament, visit www.camerainnandbikes.com

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