E.A. Sports Today

Dawgs’ D doubles down

Anniston, Sacred Heart both use defense to carry them into the Northeast Regionals; Saks falls under a barrage of Plainview 3-pointers
Tuesday’s scores
Anniston 62, Cherokee County 24
Center Point 53, Alexandria 46
Oxford 76, Buckhorn 63
Piedmont 59, Sylvania 56
Plainview 93, Saks 45
Sacred Heart 79, Ranburne 50
Talladega 63, Jacksonville 60
Winterboro 79, Jacksonville Christian 56
By East Alabama Sports Today
The Anniston Bulldogs played smothering defense and shut down Cherokee County 62-24 to earn a spot in the Class 4A Northeast Regional and complete an undefeated home season Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs (23-7) will now play Oneonta (20-8), coached by former White Plains assistant Brandon Crews, in their regional opener at Jacksonville State Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
The 24 points were the fewest allowed by a Torry Brown-coached Anniston team since it gave up 20 in a win over Munford in January 2018.
The Warriors scored 12 points in the first quarter thanks in part to a pair of 3-pointers by Ivory Moore and led 12-8 as they opened with a box-and-one against Anniston guard Antonio Kite, but the next three quarters yielded the same number of points. They outscored the Warriors 45-5 over the next two quarters.

The Bulldogs held Moore to only one free throw after the first quarter and top scorer Luke Goss to one point (coming with 2:58 to go in the game). Brown said it was “without a doubt” the most complete defensive game the Bulldogs have played this season.
“We played really good team defense tonight,” he said. “We were active with our hands. We anticipated really good, we took good angles, and we finished our defensive possession with rebounds and we were able to get out and run in transition and get some layups on the other side.
“We spent the last three days going over assignments and things like that. We really didn’t want them to hurt us from deep. They spread us out pretty good and have five guys who can shoot. Guys were where they needed to be at all times tonight.”
The Bulldogs finished the season 11-0 at home and have a 12-game home winning streak going back to last season. Their average margin of victory at home this season was 26.5 points.

Cardinals roll into JSU

Sacred Heart used smothering defense right out of the gate to take immediate control of the game and cruised to a 79-50 victory over Ranburne in the Class 2A Northeast subregional.
The Cardinals, looking for a fifth straight state title but first in 2A, play Fyffe in their regional opener at Jacksonville State Friday at 4:30 p.m.
They took control of this one so quickly the crowd hardly had time to settle into their seats. They went went up 8-0 in the first minute before the Bulldogs ever got the ball across midcourt for the first time. They led 22-14 after the first quarter, 43-23 at halftime.
Two-time area tournament MVP Khalil Watkins scored nine in the first quarter and finished with 16. Cade Landers scored all 13 of his points in the first half. Jayden Stone led the Cardinals with 18.
Sacred Heart 79, Ranburne 50
RANBURNE (15-13) –
Devon Chambers 2 0-0 5, Jake Burson 5 2-2 13, Sam Green 1 1-2 3, Josh Ralston 2 4-5 9, Jackson Pollard 3 3-3 9, Brock Young 4 2-3 11. Totals 17 12-15 50.
SACRED HEART (19-10) – Spencer Wigley 0 0-0 0, Khalil Watkins 7 0-0 16, Jack Miller 2 0-0 5, Allen Marshall 0 1-2 1, Caleb Brown 1 5-6 8, Javen Croft 0 0-0 0, Anthony Bothwell 1 0-0 3, KD Harris 0 2-2 2, Aaron Moore 3 3-4 9, Jayden Stone 7 2-2 18, Cade Landers 5 1-3 13, Ray Simmons 1 0-0 2, Delroy Francis 0 2-2 2. Totals 27 16-21 79.
Ranburne       14       9         8         19       –          50       
Sacred Heart 22       21       27       9         –          79
3-point goals: Ranburne 4 (Chambers, Burson, Ralston, Young); Sacred Heart 9 (Watkins 2, Miller, Brown, Bothwell, Stone 2, Landers 2). Technical fouls: Chambers. Total fouls: Ranburne 14, Sacred Heart 20.

Bears maul Wildcats

RAINSVILLE – Saks knew it faced a tall order in its Class 3A sub-region game and the team it played came as advertised.
Defending Class 3A state champions Plainview is headed back to the Northeast Regionals for the fifth year in a row after raining a barrage of 18 3-pointers on the Wildcats and cruising to a 93-45 victory.
Just like in their first two post-season wins in last week’s area tournament, the Bears sprinted out of the gates with a dominant start and never looked back.
Plainview sharp shooters Koby Tinker, Dane Haymon, Cole Millican and Caden Millican combined for six 3-pointers in the first quarter and the Bears nearly put the game out of reach in the first few minutes while opening a 34-9 lead. Seven Bears hit at least one 3-pointer in the game.
“Our guys’ approach was really good,” Plainview coach Robi Coker said. “We were locked in and focused and it showed in the first quarter.
“This time of year it’s about focusing on the task at hand and our guys did a great job of that.”
Cole Millican, Tristian Willingham and Tinker all hit deep 3 in the second quarter and combined for all 19 of the Bears’ second-quarter points as they took a 53-21 halftime lead.
The 3-point barrage continued in the third with seven more as the lead stretched to 45 before the start of the fourth quarter.
Tinker hit four from deep range and four from inside the arc to lead the Bears with 20 points. Caden Millican had 14, Cole Millican 12 and Dane Haymon 11.
Saks was led by Tyler Smith’s 13 points. Zay Elston had 12.
Plainview will face Area 9 runner-up Fultondale, who blew away J.B. Pennington 74-43 Tuesday, in the 3A Northeast Regional semifinals Monday at 7:30 p.m.
Plainview 93, Saks 45
SAKS (6-17) –
Tyler Smith 7 1-5 15, Zaejuan Johnson 2 0-0 5, Daveon Dukes 1 1-2 3, Zay Elston 4 3-6 12, Benji Wilson 0 0-0 0, Pat Williams 0 2-2 2, Jordan Cosper 3 2-2 8. Totals 17 9-17 45.
PLAINVIEW (29-4) – Tristan Williams 3 0-0 7, Cole Millican 5 0-0 12, Jackson Hosch 3 0-0 9, Taylor Hayman 4 0-0 11, David McLaughlin 1 0-0 2, Haden White 0 0-0 0, Caden Millican 5 2-2 14, Jonah Williams 3 0-0 9,  Jathan Underwood 3 0-0 6, Koby Tinker 8 0-0 20, Grant Sanders 1 1-2 3. Totals 36 3-4 93.
Saks                        9              12            12            12            –                45
Plainview              34            19            25            15            –                93
3-point goals: Saks 2 (Johnson, Elston); Plainview 18 (Willingham, Co. Millican 2, Hosch 3, Hayman 3, Ca. Millican 2, Williams 3, Tinker 4). Total fouls: Saks 7, Plainview 15. Officials: Hodge, Hughes, Kushenberry.

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