E.A. Sports Today

Hanson’s sporty 40

Less than a week after being snubbed for the county’s all-tournament team, Wellborn senior goes for career-high 40 in Panthers’ victory

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

It’s been about a week now and Wellborn coach Jordan Angle still can’t get over Blake Hanson didn’t make the all-county tournament team.

All his senior scorer did was have the highest individual scoring game in the tournament this year, but now he’s showing them.

Hanson scored a career-high 40 points Friday night as the Panthers took it to Jacksonville 73-55 to get back to .500.

He was 10-of-24 from the field, 4-of-12 from 3-point range, and hit 16 of 21 free throws. It was the sixth time in the two seasons Angle has been back as the Panthers’ coach Hanson has scored 30 points or more in a game; he’s had three others of 29. In that same stretch he’s had only three games where he hasn’t scored in double figures.

“Forty feels great,” Hanson said. “It’s something everybody always asks me if I’m going to do. But it was an all-around good team win tonight. Dev (Machristie) and Jordan (Montgomery) came out shooting nice and defensively we were playing a heck of a game the first half.”

Montgomery had 15 points and Machristie 14, but this was really Hanson’s night.

He had a big night in the county tournament, too, scoring 33 points against Piedmont in a loss between 8 and 9 seeds. Whether he was as bothered by the snub as his coach or not, in the three games since he had 26 against Piedmont Monday, 18 in a balanced scoring attack against Jefferson Christian and 40 against the Golden Eagles.

“I was mad from the announcement date,” Angle said. “To me, nobody else in the tournament the entire week scored 33 points in a game.

“In my eyes he is one of the best players in Calhoun County outside of Sacred Heart. It’s a shame we played on Saturday night of the first night and got eliminated without our second-best scorer and he gets left out of the mix. There’s got to be something done.”

The defensive effort Hanson spoke of was directed at his Jacksonville scoring counterpart Rivan Hill, who went for 51 in a game earlier this year. The Panthers played their normal 2-3 zone, but whenever Hill got the ball the focus shifted to him.

Hill ended up getting in early foul trouble that kept him out large portions of the second and third quarters. When he did return he fired up a bunch of missed shots and was quickly replaced. He finished with seven points.

Alex Davis and Alex Gilbert were Jacksonville’s leading scorers with 11 points each.

Angle has been trying to put together Hanson’s career scoring numbers. He has been unable to locate 12 games from the player’s sophomore season and may never be able to get an accurate count.

Still, even without that block of games, Hanson has scored nearly 1,300 points in a Panthers’ uniform. It’s the most of any player in either of Angle’s stints as Wellborn’s coach.

“I told him with about two minutes left when we were shooting free throws that I added up his points and it was 1,247 (before Friday) and he started grinning,” Angle said. “I don’t think he realized himself he’s scored that many.

“I’ll probably never have another player like that. I’m just enjoying the ride for the rest of the year to see how he’s going to finish.”

Wellborn 73, Jacksonville 55
Alex Davis 5-7 1-2 11, Alex Gilbert 5-16 1-1 11, Hunter Vinson 3-6 1-5 7, Rivan Hill 2-10 1-2 7, Jay Davis 2-6 0-0 6, DeAndre McCain 2-9 0-0 5, K.J. Satcher 1-3 2-8 4, Ron Wiggins 1-2 1-3 4, Tahj Kirkland 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-60 7-21 55.

WELLBORN – Blake Hanson 10-24 16-21 40, Jordan Montgomery 5-9 2-2 15, Devin Machristie 5-13 2-3 14, Kelvin Evans 1-5 0-1 2, Kameron Goodwin 1-1 0-0 2, Kedrick Harris 0-1 0-1 0, Mitchell Raines 0-2 0-0 0, Dennis Towns 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Cooper 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-55 20-28 73.

Jacksonville 12 12 20 11 — 55
Wellborn 26 13 15 19 — 73

3-point goals: Jacksonville 6-20 (Gilbert 0-2, Hill 2-8, J. Davis 2-4, McCain 1-5, Wiggins 1-1); Wellborn 9-24 (Hanson 4-12, Montgomery 3-6, Machristie 2-4, Raines 0-2). Rebounds: Jacksonville 40 (Satcher 9, A. Davis 6); Wellborn 48 (Hanson 11, Montgomery 10). Total fouls: Jacksonville 23, Wellborn 16.

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