E.A. Sports Today

Tribe triumphs

Ohatchee grabs another big early lead, this time holds onto it to snap a six-game losing streak; Carter carries Wellborn girls

Ohatchee’s Grayson Alward (11) looks for a way around Wellborn’s Kam Goodwin during Monday’s game. On the cover, Ohatchee coach Bryant Ginn makes a point to guard Ben Glass during a timeout. (All photos by Beverly Wright)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Sunday is typically a day of reflection and the Ohatchee basketball team had a lot to think about after letting a big early lead and eventually the game slip away the day before.

The Indians scored the first 15 points of the game and held visiting White Plains without a field goal until early in the second quarter, but they ultimately lost by two points in a game White Plains coach Chris Randall would call one of the most memorable in his career.

They got off to another fast start in Monday’s matinee, but this time, instead of letting it get away, they built upon it and roared to a 74-25 win at Wellborn that snapped a six-game losing streak.

“It should’ve been ours (Saturday); we should’ve won it and we let it slip away,” Indians guard Kevin Williamson said. “Dwelling on it is the wrong way to go, but being able to think about it and know that you’re better than that and two days later be able to come out firing and play twice as good and just execute is real big. Hopefully we can do it the next game, too.”

This time, the Indians (2-7) scored the first 19 points of the game and never let off the gas until the second half. They scored 25 points in the first five minutes and held the Panthers (0-5) without a field goal until 2:42 remained in the first quarter.

It started with a pair of 3-pointers by Williamson wrapped around a pair of turnover-induced buckets by Ben Glass. It didn’t help that the Panthers couldn’t hit from in close and when Khevion Wesley finally scored from the field it was a 25-2 game.

“I kind of figured since our lead was so big I didn’t think we could blow it,” guard Evan Keller said. “But I thought the same thing (Saturday) when we were up 15-0 against White Plains. I guess today we just focused on finishing the whole game out instead of reflecting on the lead that we had and letting it go.”

The difference between the two games was this time the Indians didn’t miss free throws – not that they had many chances to take them – didn’t put the Panthers on the line and moved the ball around in their offense. They had 20 assists at halftime.

Coach Bryant Ginn got everybody into the game by halftime and 10 of the 11 players scored; they all would in the game. The 52 points his Indians put up in the first half were more than they had scored in four whole games this season and within four points of three others.

Just three nights ago they had a season-high 77 in a loss to Weaver.

“I’ve just been stressing running the break,” Ginn said. “We’re big on running the break, getting our fast break started and let the offense play off that and not let people get set up on us and I thought we hadn’t been doing that.

“We’ve been almost playing some 5-on-5, street ball, where we’re not running the break, walking the ball up the floor. I’ve just been on them like y’all are gonna fix it or I’m gonna fix it and you ain’t gonna like the way I’m gonna fix it.”

Looks like they fixed it.

Wellborn girls 47, Ohatchee 37
When the game’s on the line it helps to have one of the best players in the county on your side.

Vanessa Carter scored 23 points, but came off the bench from a breather with four minutes to play and completely controlled the finish of the game.

With the Lady Panthers holding a 32-29 lead — after leading by as many as 13 — Carter had a hand in 14 of their last 15 points of the game. She scored eight points down the stretch and assisted on six of the other seven. In the final two minutes, she scored three points from the line, but had two steals, forced another turnover and had two assists. She finished with 23 points.

Read more on the Lady Panthers’ victory in the girls county roundup located elsewhere on the East Alabama Sports Today website.

Ohatchee 74, Wellborn 25
OHATCHEE (2-7) –
Andrew Roberts 0 1-4 1, Blake Buckelew 4 0-2 10, Ben Glass 5 0-0 11, Carson Stone 1 1-4 3, Grayson Alward 3 0-0 6, Kevin Williamson 5 2-3 14, Bayley Tillison 2 1-2 6, Evan Keller 6 1-2 14, Domonique Thomas 2 0-0 4, Landon Key 1 0-0 2, Briley Hale 1 1-2 3. Totals 30 7-19 74.

WELLBORN (0-5) – Chuck Taylor 0 0-1 0, Jeremiah Nolen 2 0-0 5, Coby Adams 0 0-0 0, Khavion Wesley 4 3-3 12, Ked Harris 2 0-0 5, Kam Goodwin 0 0-0 0, Rob Broom 0 0-0 0, Chase Carroll 0 0-0 0, Austin Cooper 0 2-2 2, Dylan Grubbs 0 1-2 1. Totals 8 6-8 25.

Ohatchee 32 20 14 8 — 74
Wellborn 8 10 5 2 — 25

3-point goals: Ohatchee 7 (Buckelew 2, Glass, Williamson 2, Tillison, Keller); Wellborn 3 (Nolen, Wesley, Harris). Technical fouls: Grubbs. Total fouls: Ohatchee 11, Wellborn 16. Officials: Stubbs, Dickeson, Belyeu.

Evan Keller, following through on his third-quarter free throws, shared game-high scoring honors with teammate Kevin Williamson. Both scored 14 points.

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