E.A. Sports Today

Area tournaments

Here are the scores and box scores from area tournament games Monday involving teams from in and around Calhoun County

Girls Games
1A-10: Spring Garden: JCA 48, Faith Christian 42
6A-13: Pell City 53, Oxford 44
5A-10 Cleburne County 36, Lincoln 23
3A-10: Piedmont 38, Pleasant Valley 35
5A-10: Talladega 109, Clay Central 55

Boys Games
1A-10: JCA 56, Faith Christian 47

By East Alabama Sports Today

GLENCOE — With her team well past surpassing the low preseason expectations of others, Terrace Ridley just wants her Piedmont girls basketball team to enjoy this postseason ride.

That ride got a little bumpy Monday night, but the Lady Bulldogs were able to hold off Pleasant Valley 38-35 in the Class 3A Area 10 tournament for their 20th win of the season and earn a spot in the state subregion tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs (20-8) will play host Glencoe (20-8) for the area title Thursday. They will cross with Geraldine (16-9) and Brindlee Mountain (3-21), a 41-36 winner over New Hope Monday, in the subregion tournament.

“We have gone over what everybody expected of us right now,” Ridley said. “We’ve had a fun season. We’re just enjoying the ride right now. That’s what I want for these seniors. I wanted them to go out with not being put out and make it out of the area and just enjoy the ride.”

It didn’t come easy. The Lady Bulldogs were up 15 late in the third quarter and 12 entering the fourth, then withstood a furious PV rally that made it a one-point game with 1:03 to play. It stayed that way until Kaitlyn Ridley grabbed a loose ball following Mac Parris’ missed open 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left and then hit two free throws when she was fouled with four-tenths of a second remaining to seal it.

“Those type of games I think my girls have been quite used to this season; we’ve survived quite a few games that way,” Terrace Ridley said. “I told them at the beginning of the game it’s all about who can stay in it with their head in it and finish it in the end. I’ve got some leaders out there on the court who don’t let up and that’s the way you get those type of games.”

The ring leader was Kaitlyn Ridley. Her three-point play midway through the second quarter sent Piedmont on the way to its big lead. Then she was there at the end of finish it off.

“Kaitlyn knows she’s the one we go to on the court when we need somebody to control the basketball and somebody to make something happen,” Terrace Ridley said. “She always makes something happen. She did when we needed that three-point play and then she knew at the end she had to take over and create something for us to hold that lead.”

“I’m a senior so I was like either go hard or go home,” Kaitlyn said. “I have to be a leader. They follow me so I have to step up my game so they can step up, too, and we finished strong.”

Pleasant Valley’s comeback was fueled by pressure defense. Coach Brad Hood said his team was “amazing” in its effort to fight back from a 15-point deficit with 2:53 left in the third quarter.

“That second half, that effort, all five were working as a unit,” Hood said.

What did them in, though, were too many missed shots around the basket. The Lady Raiders (16-14) were only 14 of 53 from the field in the game, 5 of 21 in the first half and 6 of 22 in the fourth quarter.

Rylee Haynes banked in a 3-pointer with 1:03 to play to get PV within 36-35. Karmyn Sparks gave the Lady Raiders a chance to win it near the end when she picked up a steal and got the ball to Parris. The PV gunner had an open looked, but her 3 for the win with 7.2 seconds left came up short.

Talladega 109, Clay Central 55: Camille Buckhanon scored 25 points and Amaz Carmichael had 22 to lead the Lady Tigers in the other semifinal.

Lady Tigers finally break through

By East Alabama Sports Today

TALLADEGA – Todd Gable admitted it felt like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.

After a couple near misses earlier in his coaching tenure, Gable’s Cleburne County girls basketball team finally crashed through its playoff roadblock, beating Lincoln 36-23 in the Class 5A Area 10 tournament to earn its first trip to the sub-region tournament since 2003.

Three players on their current roster weren’t even born yet the last time they made it.

“It’s huge,” Gable said of significance of Monday’s victory. “It’s like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.

“Even when I was an assistant we had good teams and been so close, but saw it slip away so many times. The team I had last year was 19-8 and thought we had a great opportunity to do it and just could not get it done. This was a huge, huge relief.”

The closest Cleburne County had come before was Gable’s first year when the team had nine seniors and went 18-5, but were put out by Saks. His third team lost in overtime. The 2003 team made it to the regionals in Jacksonville.

“It’s always been one thing after the other; we’re glad to get it tonight,” Gable said. “Coach (Ron) Ervin has been with me a lot time and he was like, ‘we’ve finally done it.’ Other coaches who’ve helped us, they knew the significance of it. The seniors were like, ‘Coach we finally did it,’ and I was like ‘yeah, we finally did it;’ they were glad to get that monkey off their back. The girls who played last year were blowing up my phone.”

It wasn’t easy to break through. The Lady Tigers (16-12) were up 17-15 at halftime and 24-22 after three quarters. They turned up the defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and pulled away by outscoring the Lady Bears 12-1 in the fourth quarter.

“At halftime we really talked about if we were going to get this out of the water we’ve got to play good defense,” Gable said. “It always seems like the second half all season there’s a point that comes … we just wear some people down and our defense steps up and forces a lot of turnovers. You started to see it at the end of the third, but we weren’t capitalizing on transition points, but in the fourth you could really see it happening.”

The Lady Tigers have to play powerful Talladega for the area tournament title first Wednesday, but they’ll cross with Area 13, which includes Alexandria, Etowah, Douglas and Boaz in the subregion.

Cover photo: Cleburne County’s history-making girls basketball team

No third-time charm for Oxford

By Brant Locklier
For East Alabama Sports Today

SOUTHSIDE – The last two years Pell City swept the regular season and then was upset by Oxford in the Class 6A Area 13 tournament. It was set up for the Lady Jackets to do the same again this year.

But fouls and free throws were the story this time and Oxford could not pull off the upset for the third consecutive year, losing 53-44.

The Lady Panthers shot 41 free throws to Oxford’s 10 and they made 23 to the Lady Jackets’ four. It was more than enough to make up for Oxford’s three more field goals. Three Oxford players fouled out of the game.

“We certainly were not expecting that kind of difference at the foul line,” said Lady Jackets coach Melissa Bennett. “It cannot be much bigger than that.“

The Lady Jackets came in with the idea of trying to stop Mary Denman Luker, the leading Panther scorer and while they held her to just six field goals, she hit 13 of 17 free throws to finish with 25 points.

Southside led 25-15 at halftime.

”I thought we were a little complacent in the first half,” Bennett said. “We did not protect the ball real well (nine turnovers). Their offensive rebounding also hurt us in that first half.”

Tremeria Britt banged home back-to-back 3s to end the third quarter to chop the deficit to 34-30 and it appeared that it was game-on. But two costly turnovers to start the final quarter sparked a seven-point run that put the Lady Panthers up 41-30.

The closest the Lady Jackets could get the rest of the way was six points.

‘We were just too content to dribble outside and we did not penetrate with a purpose,” Bennett said. “The single-digit second quarter was a problem. I am proud of our seniors from making improvements this year. Our schedule was really tough this year, but we had a lot of growth from last year’s six-win season.”

Jacksonville Christian 56, Faith Christian 47:
Kobe Messer and Chase Vinson gave the Thunder double-doubles and sparked a second-half eruption that lifted JCA to victory.

Messer scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds. Vinson scored nine of his 19 in the second half and grabbed 15 rebounds. Walker Messer (7), Eli Fair (6) and Nash Messer (2) rounded out JCA’s scoring. Fair also grabbed 10 rebounds.

Malcolm Carlisle led Faith with 18 points. The Lions led 27-25 at halftime.

This story will be updated.

Piedmont 38, Pleasant Valley 35
Lindsey Pritchett 0 0-0 0, Mac Parris 3 1-2 8, Rylee Haynes 2 0-0 5, Alyssa Cash 0 0-0 0, Emma Hood 3 0-0 6, Karmyn Sparks 1 4-4 6, Brooke Perry 5 0-0 10. Totals 14 5-6 35.

PIEDMONT (20-8) – Kayley Kirk 4 0-0 10, LeLe Ridley 1 1-2 3, Kaitlyn Ridley 3 3-3 9, Pinky Nation 4 1-1 9, Camron Logan 0 0-0 0, Cassidy Jackson 0 0-0 0, ZaHayla Walker 0 0-0 0, Sydney Prater 3 1-2 7. Totals 15 8-6 38.

Pleasant Valley 9 2 9 15 — 35
Piedmont 8 13 11 6 — 38

3-point goals: PV 2 (Parris, Haynes); Piedmont 2 (Kirk 2). Total fouls: PV 10, Piedmont 8. Officials: Beard, Ingram, Moorehouse.

Cleburne County 36, Lincoln 23
Alisa Person 1 0-0 2, Olivia McDaniel 4 3-6 11, Chelsea Parker 2 2-5 6, Alex Casey 0 0-1 0, Brooklyn McDaniel 0 3-4 3, Haven Freeman 0 0-2 0, Tatiana Ervin 4 2-4 10, Kendall Houston 2 0-0 4. Totals 13 10-22 36.

LINCOLN – Bailey Gowers 0 0-0 0, Kaziyan Gaston 0 0-0 0, Jayla Morris 3 0-2 6, Abbey Smith 0 1-2 1, Keishaunna Strown 0 0-0 0, Genesis McClellan 0 0-0 0, Morgan Allison 0 0-0 0, Shaniya Twyman 0 0-0 0, Kendrea Perkins 1 0-0 3, Hannah Carmichael 5 1-2 11, Taylor Conway 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 2-6 23.

Cleburne County 10 7 7 12 — 36
Lincoln 7 8 7 1 — 23

3-point goals: Lincoln 1 (Perkins). Technical fouls: Carmichael. Fouled out: Conway, Carmichael. Total fouls: Cleburne County 12, Lincoln 19. Officials: Watson, Hinkle, Kelley.

Pell City 53, Oxford 44
Anna Bolton 4 0-1 9, Makayla Kidd 4 0-0 9, Halaya Harmon 0 1-4 1, Ashleigh Jackson 4 2-2 10, Tremeria Britt 4 0-0 10, Akeira Robinson 0 0-0 0, Aumari Lindsay 0 0-0 0, Jamyia Byrd 0 0-0 0, Justyce Smith 2 0-1 4, Kayln Hendrix 0 1-2 1. Totals 18 4-10 44.

PELL CITY – Victoria Winslett 2 0-0 4, Aikerria Bedford 0 0-0 0, Morgan Roberts 2 6-14 10, Mya McDanal 1 2-4 4, Maikaylia Posey 3 0-0 6, Mary Denman Luker 6 13-17 25, Victoria Bruce 1 1-3 3, Tamya McKenzie 0 1-3 1. Totals 15 23-41 53.

Oxford 11 4 15 14 — 44
Pell City 15 10 7 21 — 53

3-point goals: Oxford 4 (Bolton, Kidd, Britt 2). Rebounds: Oxford 26, (Jackson 5, Hendrix 4); Pell City 23 (Posey 6). Fouled out: Kidd, Robinson, Smith.

Tuesday’s schedule
4A-8 Girls at Anniston: Handley vs. Munford, 4:30 p.m.
5A-13 Girls at Alexandria: Etowah vs. Alexandria, 5:30 p.m.
1A-10 Girls at Spring Garden: Faith-JCA winner vs. Spring Garden, 5:30 p.m.
6A-13 Boys at Oxford: Pell City vs. Southside, 6 p.m.
5A-10 Boys at Clay Central: Talladega vs. Lincoln, 6 p.m.
4A-8 Girls at Anniston: Saks vs. Anniston, 6 p.m.
4A-12 Girls at Hokes Bluff: White Plains vs. Hokes Bluff, 6 p.m.
3A-9 Boys at Weaver: Wellborn vs. Ohatchee, 6 p.m.
5A-13 Girls at Alexandria: Douglas vs. Boaz, 7 p.m.
3A-10 Boys at Piedmont: Pleasant Valley vs. Glencoe, 7 p.m.
1A-10 Girls at Spring Garden: Donoho vs. Sacred Heart, 7 p.m.
5A-10 Boys at Clay Central: Cleburne County vs. Clay Central, 7:30 p.m.
4A-12 Girls at Hokes Bluff: Cherokee County vs. Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m.

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