E.A. Sports Today

‘I thought it was in’

Tournament notes: Oxford’s Shadrix came within a whisker of hitting the mid-court shot for $10,000; all-tournament teams and other notes

Oxford junior Simeon Shadrix launches a half-court shot for $10,000 during halftime of the Calhoun County Girls Tournament title game. On the cover, Shadrix talks about the experience with TV24’s Jon Holder and the contest sponsors. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Simeon Shadrix thought it was in. So did a lot of people in the gym.

Shadrix, Oxford’s sharp-shooting junior guard, came within inches Monday night of hitting the mid-court shot for $10,000 in the F&M Bank 3-Point Challenge at the Calhoun County Tournament.

It was on line, but hit too hard off the back iron.

“I thought it was in,” Shadrix said. “I thought it was going in. It was on target, but just a little bit too much power, I guess.”

Shadrix earned his shot at the big money by hitting 16 shots in the 3-point shootout during Saturday night’s semifinals. He had the rest of the weekend to think about it, but didn’t come in cold.

He practiced “a couple” mid-court shots during the Yellow Jackets’ shoot-around earlier in the day until he made a couple in a row.

He didn’t need much warmup, but before his official attempt at halftime of the girls championship game, he loosened up with several short shots around the basket. He missed the first one, then made 10 in a row from various locations in and around the paint.

He finally made his way to center court where he lined up, pointed, took an imaginary shot and then fired for real.

The crowd held its collective breath as the ball looked true in its flight. They all groaned as it hit the flange between the goal and the backboard and came back towards him.

“I told you (he had a shot to make),” Oxford coach Joel Van Meter said. “He can make that shot all day.”

Shadrix didn’t go home empty handed. As a lovely parting gift, the contest sponsors presented him with a big $500 check for winning the qualifying round Saturday.

“I didn’t expect anything,” he said. “I appreciate F&M Bank for giving me the opportunity to shoot.”

Watch a video of the shot on the East Alabama Sports Today Facebook page.


Sacred Heart was playing in its fifth straight County Tournament title game. It is the longest streak since Alexandria played in five straight between 2003 and 2007. Oxford was looking to win back-to-back for the first time since it won three straight 2011-2013. The Jacksonville and Anniston girls played each other in five straight from 2011 to 2015.

Both Oxford teams made it to their respective tournament finals for the first time since 2002. It was the 25th time since the girls started playing in 1979 a school has had both teams make it, but it’s the first time since 1998 (and third overall) both teams lost in the finals. Five of the previous seven occasions have produced sweeps for those schools. Both Anniston teams lost in the finals in 1998 and both Alexandria teams were disappointed in 1996.

The final margin of Monday’s two titles games — nine points — was the closet since a 12-point margin in 2011 (Anniston girls over Jacksonville by 9, Oxford boys over Piedmont by 3). It’s the lowest since 2006 — eight points — when Oxford’s girls beat Saks by 3 and Alexandria’s boys beat Anniston by 5.

All-Tournament teams

Anniston’s Toniah Foster (L) is congratulated by teammate Allasha Dudley after being voted most valuable player of the Calhoun County Girls Tournament. Dudley was voted outstanding offensive player. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

Anniston’s Toniah Foster and Sacred Heart’s Diante Wood were the most valuable players of their respective Calhoun County tournaments. Here are the two all-tournament teams and major individual award winners.

Toniah Foster, Anniston
Outstanding Offensive Player: Allasha Dudley, Anniston
Outstanding Defensive Player: Justyce Smith, Oxford
All-Tournament: Vanessa Carter, Wellborn; Katessa Carter, Wellborn; Kyra Williams, Jacksonville; Sydney Prater, Piedmont; Brie Bradford, Alexandria; Makayla Kidd, Oxford; Caleigh Cortez, Weaver; Mac Parris, Pleasant Valley; Kaitlyn Ridley, Piedmont; Amoriya Dudley, Anniston; Kayla Broom, Jacksonville; Kourtney Shuler, Ohatchee; Anna Bolton, Oxford; Tremeria Britt, Oxford; Kayley Kirk, Piedmont.

MVP: Diante Wood, Sacred Heart
Outstanding Offensive Player: Diante Wood, Sacred Heart
Outstanding Defensive Player: Diante Wood, Sacred Heart
All-Tournament: Markise Davis, Oxford; Robert Gaines, Weaver; Dalton Dodd, Alexandria; Malcolm Carlisle, Faith Christian; Dontavious Davis, Anniston; DeVaunghn Beason, Saks; Quin Riggins, Sacred Heart; Donovan McCain, Jacksonville; Ben Glass, Ohatchee; Darien Briskey, Saks; Murdock Simmons, Sacred Heart; Eugene Leonard, Oxford; Kendrick Foster, Oxford; Victor Wilson, Sacred Heart; Roc Taylor, Oxford.

Here’s the boys all-tournament team. (Photo by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

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