E.A. Sports Today

Different strokes

White Plains girls earn County Tournament semifinal slot in nail biter, Anniston wins in rout; bracket included

Jordan Sabree gets behind the defense and delivers the go-ahead layup in White Plains’ win over Piedmont. Landry Bussey (12) partially blocked the last shot on the ensuing possession to preserve the win. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/KrispPics Photography)

2017 Calhoun Co BB Tournament Updated 9 pm Tuesday – GIRLS BRACKET
Bracket by Kurt Duryea

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — Jordan Sabree converted Grey Young’s inbounds pass on the back side with 7.2 seconds left and Landry Bussey partially blocked the last shot of the game to preserve White Plains’ 46-45 win over Piedmont Tuesday in the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament.

Sabree’s layup, off a play the Lady Wildcats have been working on for weeks, gave White Plains a 46-45 lead. Rebecca Smart gave Piedmont a 45-44 lead with 26.2 seconds left, but failed to convert the three-point play. The Lady Bulldogs missed another free throw moments later and the ensuing held ball went to White Plains to set the go-ahead play in motion.

White Plains called time out to set up their winning play.

”I tried to calm everyone down and instill some confidence in them,” Lady Wildcats coach Joi Watts said. “They had to believe in themselves that they could make this play and we had done it in practice.

“We have been down before this season and have had trouble finishing games. We had lost to them by two earlier this season, so we know they are a good team. The stage was a little bigger here, but we came up big at the end. Jordan has made plays for us this year and we thought that that last play might have a chance and Jordan came up really big for us and made the basket.”

The look was for Hannah Barno, but Piedmont was ready for it. Sabree broke free from a bunch of screens, Young found her on the back side underneath and Sabree banked in the layup. The win avenged a 45-43 loss to Piedmont earlier in the season.

“I don’t how I got open, I just did and my teammates got me the ball and I made the basket,” Sabree said. “I am so happy we won.”

The fifth-seeded Lady Wildcats (13-8) now play top-seeded Anniston in Friday’s 4 p.m. semifinal at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

Piedmont had a chance at the winning basket, but Bussey partially blocked Sydney Prater’s mid-range jumper just before the horn sounded.

“We just had to stop the ball,” Bussey said. “It was very risky, but I had to take a chance. I just had the safety and I had to stop the ball. It was a great feeling (when it fell away).”

White Plains rallied from deficits of 7-0 and 27-20 to get the win and won it despite top player Shelby Wood fouled out with less than two minutes to play and White Plains leading 44-40.

It was a classic 4/5 seed struggle in the first half with neither team wanting to give. Piedmont jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead only to see White Plains go on a 16-3 run to pull ahead by six points.

The surgical passing of Wood was setting up Chasity Nelson for a pair of 3-ponters and Barno for another during the Lady Wildcats run. Piedmont ended the half on an 8-1 run as Prater bombed in a pair of 3-pointers and helped the Lady Bulldogs to an 18-17 halftime lead.

Wood ended up 15 points and Nelson 12 to lead the Wildcats. Wood grabbed eight rebounds and Bussey seven.

Piedmont got a strong performance on the boards from Smart, who had 11 to go along with her six points. Prater finished with 16 points and Breanna Brazier chipped in 12.


Anniston’s Miajah Bullock (3) drives into the teeth of Alexandria’s triple team Tuesday night. (Photos by Kristen Stringer/KrispPics Photography)

The Lady Bulldogs did not make the finals of the Calhoun County tournament in 2016. It was the first time in five years they missed and it looks like they’re making sure they make it back this week.

They jumped out to a 45-7 lead midway in the second quarter behind a suffocating press that created turnover after turnover. Keandra Findley and Mariah Bullock were running free as they had 19 and 18 first-half points, respectively.

Alexandria did end the half on a 10-point run to cut the margin to 45-17, but that was about all the good news that the Valley Cubs were going to have against a Lady Bulldogs team on a mission. Anniston has made the finals eight times in 10 years, winning it seven.

“Last year’s loss in the tournament was one of the worst feelings I have ever had and we want to do everything we can to get the title back,” Anniston coach Eddie Bullock said. “The feeling last year compared to losing a state championship game.

“We have had to get back to basics after last year. Our key is playing defense. If you play defense, you have a chance to beat anybody. While we were solid tonight there is still room for improvement. There were times we did not execute very well and you have to execute against a good team like Alexandria.”

Execution on offense was not a problem for Miajah Bullock and Findley. Bullock finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds, while Findlay had 12 points and six boards.

Bre Bradford had 14 points and six rebounds to pace Alexandria.


White Plains 46, Piedmont 45
Hanna Dyar 2 3-4 7, Hannah Barno 1 0-0 3, Jordan Sabree 2 0-0 4, Landry Bussey 1 0-0 2, Chasity Nelson 4 1-2 12, Ary Rosario 0 0-2 0, Grey Young 1 0-0 3, Shelby Wood 7 0-0 15, Jocelyn Harris 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-8 46.

PIEDMONT – Breanna Brazier 5 0-1 12, Kaitlyn Ridley 3 1-4 7, Lulu Jackson 2 0-1 4, Camran Logan 0 0-0 0, Sydney Prater 5 2-4 16, Ashlin Smith 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Smart 3 0-1 6, Kiara Jackson 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 3-11 45.

White Plains 12 5 15 14 — 46
Piedmont 10 8 12 15 — 45

3-point goals: White Plains 6 (Barno, Nelson 3, Young, Wood); Piedmont 6 (Prater 4, Brazier 2). Fouled out: Barno. Total fouls: White Plains 16, Piedmont 9. Officials: Whitten, Williams, Dukes.

Anniston 71, Alexandria 29
Destiny Heathcock 0 0-0 0, KayLeigh Steen 1 0-0 3, Kameron Simpson 2 0-0 4, Sarah Kilgore 2 0-0 5, Bre Bradford 6 2-6 14, Alierra Bradford 0 0-0 0, Kaitlin Harvey 0 0-0 0, Molly Parker 0 0-0 0, Lauryn McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Allison Bonds 0 0-0 0, Shelby Lowery 1 1-2 3. Totals 12 3-8 29.

ANNISTON – Miajah Bullock 14 2-7 31, Carlina Welch 2 0-0 4, Viera Edmondson 1 0-1 2, Keandra Finley 8 3-4 21, Amoriya Dudley 2 0-1 4, Jordyn Johnson 0 0-0 0, Monteiga Clemons 2 0-0 5, Taniya Foster 0 0-0 0, Tekyia Jackson 1 0-0 2, Toniah Foster 1 0-0 2. Totals 31 5-15 71.

Alexandria 4 13 8 4 — 29
Anniston 31 14 14 12 — 71

3-point goals: Alexandria 2 (Steen, Kilgore); Anniston 4 (Bullock, Finley 2, Clemons).

Anniston’s Amoriya Dudley gets out of the break against Alexandria. To see more Kristen Stringer photos from the Calhoun County Tournament, visit www.krisppicsphotography.photoreflect.com.

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