E.A. Sports Today

Grinding it out

Piedmont wins its third game in as many days, looking at a rare day off as the grind continues

Saturday’s boys scores

Piedmont 58, Jacksonville 51

Ranburne 53, Randolph County 33

Sacred Heart 63, Prattville Christian 37

Spring Garden 51, Haralson County (Ga.) 33

By Al Muskewitz/East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – JoJo Odam usually opens the gym Sunday afternoons for his Piedmont players to shoot around if they so desire, but he’s thinking this might be a good time for a day off.

He figures they need the break.

The Bulldogs played – and won – their third game in as many days Saturday, trimming Jacksonville for the second time in a week 58-51.

“We’re giving them off,” Odam said. “We normally open the gym up on Sundays, but with it being the county tournament meeting for us, I’m just thinking they need it. We’ll practice Monday and be back with Saks Tuesday. Legs wise, I think they need a day off.”

The way the Bulldogs’ schedule falls they’ll take a break anyplace they can find one. They’ve just come through a stretch with games against Wellborn, Hokes Bluff and Jacksonville, and play six more games over the next 11 days in the run-up to the Calhoun County Tournament for nine games total in a 14-day stretch.

“We were talking about it right there at the end of the game during one of those time outs,” Odam said. “We were ahead and they all came over with their heads down. I was like why is that, it’s because we were tired. I think they’re all feeling it right now, one through nine. We’re in that grind. I told them we’re going to have to grind it out and get through it.”

For their players’ part, they’re just playing to the next game.

“I’m not really that tired, but some of these other guys might be,” shooter/scorer Alex Odam said. “We’ve played some of our better basketball in the last three games. I think we’re still holding up. We’ve been playing some good basketball, that’s for sure.”

Shotblocker Delo Foster said even if the gym weren’t open Sunday he’d probably go find a place to shoot anyway just keep the routine going.

“I’m not tired or anything,” he said. “I have a motor for basketball so I’m going to just go and give it all I’ve got.”

Saturday’s game, while not part of this current grind, was the second time Piedmont and Jacksonville were playing in seven days. The Bulldogs won the first meeting 52-50 in the consolation game of the Glencoe Holiday Shootout last Saturday.

The margin was a little wider this time, but there wasn’t much difference in the games. The intensity was every bit the same. Another of Alex Odam’s 3-pointers right before halftime gave Piedmont the lead for good and the visiting Golden Eagles just never could overtake them.

“It was just a battle again,” JoJo Odam said.

Alex Odam led al the Bulldogs (10-2) with 27 points, going 5-for-10 from 3-point range. Silas Thompson had 12 points and Foster, while not scoring, blocked eight shots.

Donavon McCain did all he could to keep the Golden Eagles in it; he had 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Yessmen Green had 12 points, while DeMarien Stewart hit three 3-pointers for nine points and grabbed five boards.

Saturday’s win gave Piedmont a 6-1 record against county opponents this season. The lone loss came to Alexandria in the Glencoe tournament, a result that probably will score the Bulldogs a No. 5 seed in the county tournament behind the Valley Cubs.

“I told somebody earlier 4 through 8 is a toss-up,” Odam said. 

He declined to offer a guess as to where the Bulldogs would land.

“I don’t want to jinx us,” he said.

Piedmont 58, Jacksonville 51

JACKSONVILLE – Donavon McCain 7-14 0-0 15, Yessmen Green 4-8 3-4 12, DeMarien Stewart 3-8 0-0 9, Kyrie Maynor 2-12 2-4 7, Jay Davis 2-5 0-0 4, Luke Jackson 1-1 0-0 2, Nathan Barnwell 1-2 0-0 2, Hudson Harvey 0-0 0-0 0, Omarion Adams 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 20-53 5-8 58.

PIEDMONT (10-2) – Alex Odam 9-22 4-5 27, Silas Thompson 5-9 1-2 12, T.J. Fairs 3-5 3-6 9, Kaedon Jenkins 4-9 0-0 8, Carl Myers 1-2 0-2 2, Delo Foster 0-2 0-2 0, Jahari Foster 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 8-17 51.

Jacksonville     13        14        7          17        –          51

Piedmont        16        12        11        19        –          58

3-point goals: Jacksonville 6-17 (McCain 1-2, Green 1-4, Stewart 3-5, Maynor 1-5, Davis 0-1); Piedmont 6-17 (Odam 5-10, Thompson 1-2, Fairs 0-2, Jenkins 0-3). Rebounds: Jacksonville 43 (McCain 18); Piedmont 27 (Myers 8, Jenkins 6). Technical fouls: Jacksonville coach Hunt, Fairs. Fouled out: Adams. Total fouls: Jacksonville 16, Piedmont 11. Officials: Howell, Barber, Hinkle.

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