E.A. Sports Today

Win No. 1

Munford opens with win over Weaver, giving Michael Easley his first official basketball head coaching win

Thursday’s boys scores
JCA 86, Gaylesville 30
Munford 51, Weaver 33
Sacred Heart 75, Coosa Christian 35
  
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
 
MUNFORD – Michael Easley won a varsity basketball game in a head coaching role during what he called “the craziest night of my coaching career” about seven years ago, but he didn’t formally claim Win No. 1 until Thursday night.
 
Easley came to Munford for his first head coaching job in football and basketball in the summer after years as an assistant at Saks. His football coaching debut didn’t go well, but he won his first official game as a head basketball coach when the Lions beat Weaver 51-33 in the season opener for both teams.
 
“It went a lot better than my first football game, I’ll you that,” he laughed, referring to the Lions’ 48-6 loss to Oxford.
 
Of course, the team he played that night was, comparatively speaking, a lot stronger than the one his basketball team faced Thursday.
 
The Lions scored the first five points of the game and never trailed. They got a little sloppy in the third quarter and allowed the Bearcats to close to within six, then pulled away with a big fourth quarter.
 
“The big thing was our effort and intensity was there all night long,” Easley said. “I told the kids in the locker room before the game and after the game just give me effort and intensity. If you play like that all the time we’ll be fine.”
 
Justin Sistrunk scored 11 of his team-high 13 points in the second half, seven in the fourth quarter. Rashard Russell and sophomore Connor Morgan had 12 each. Morgan hit two 3s in the game and in the fourth quarter drew a charge and had a steal and layup during the stretch they pulled away.
 
Easley had two other chances to be head coach in a game during his career.

The first was the night Saks coach Jonathan Miller missed to attend the birth of his son Knox. The Wildcats lost to Clay-Chalkville.

The other was that crazy night the next year at White Plains. Miller got tossed with his team down by nine in the final minute of regulation, but with Easley calling the shots the Wildcats rallied to tie and then won in overtime. But even with the win in relief, Easley deferred to the starter.
 
“I don’t count that one,” he said. “That’s Miller’s win.”
 
So, in his mind he is 1-0 as a varsity basketball coach.
 
Munford won seven games last year; there were some recent years it hadn’t won but one or two. It hadn’t won a season opener since 2013. The Lions may not win that many this year, but they at least are off to a good start.
 
“We’re not really worried about wins and losses this year,” Easley said. “One thing I’ve talked about with the kids is we’re going to change the culture of Munford basketball. We want to kind of set the foundation for that this year.
 
“Our goal is to get better every game. If we win, we win, that’s great, but we want to get better every game to prepare for that area tournament.” 
 
For Weaver, this year’s team is completely different from the one it put on the floor a year ago. It may be new, but the concerns are the same.

The Bearcats committed too many turnovers and were just seven of 19 from the free throw line. They didn’t have a double-figure scorer, but freshman Armane Burton had nine points and six rebounds
 
“We still have to understand about live ball turnovers, being patient on offense and playing together as one,” Bearcats coach Marcus Herbert said as he embarked on his second season as head coach. “We missed a lot of free throws. We’re a little bit younger this year, but if we can learn from our mistakes we’re going to be just fine.”
 
WEAVER (0-1) –
Quinton Blackerby 0 0-0 0, Brendon Knight 1 2-2 4, Kohl Perry 0 0-1 0, Marcello D’Ambrosia 2 1-4 5, Jackson Williams 2 0-0 4, Kyle Knight 0 1-4 1, Austin Bryant 3 0-0 6, Armane Burton 4 1-4 9, Taylor Thompson 1 2-4 4, Aidan Goodwin 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 7-19 33.
 
MUNFORD (1-0) – L.J. Flint 1 0-0 2, Justin Sistrunk 4 5-8 13, Rashard Russell 6 0-2 12, Jay Tuck 1 0-0 2, Dwight Moore 2 0-0 5, Caderio Holland 2 1-1 5, Connor Morgan 4 2-3 12, T.J. Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jaquan Anderson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 8-14 51.
 
Weaver            6          6          12        9          –          33
Munford          11        15        6          19        –          51
3-point goals: Munford 3 (Moore, Morgan 2). Total fouls: Weaver 17, Munford 15. Officials: Douthitt, Montgomery, Potts.

Sacred Heart 75, Coosa Christian 35

Taishun Hall scored 10 of his team-high 17 points in the first half as the Cardinals opened a 53-12 lead as the Cardinals celebrated homecoming.  Devin Barksdale had 14 and Aaron Moore added 11. 
 
COOSA CHRISTIAN – Julian Ford 5 0-2 13, Evan Delp 3 3-3 9, Koby Roberts 2 0-0 5, Elijah Smith 1 0-0 3, Carson McDowell 0 1-3 1, Elijah Cameron 2 0-2 4. Totals 13 4-10 35.
 
SACRED HEART (2-1) – Taishun Hall 7 2-2 17, Jarek Burroughs 1 0-0 2, Jack Miller 4 0-0 9, Allen Marshall 2 0-0 4, Devin Barksdale 6 0-0 14, Javen Croft 4 0-0 8, Anthony Bothwell 1 1-2 3, Aaron Moore 4 3-4 11, Cade Landers 3 1-2 7. Totals 32 7-10 75.
 
Coosa Christian           3          9          16       7           –         35
Sacred Heart               28        25        18        4          –          75
3-point goals: Coosa Christian 5 (Ford 3, Roberts, Smith); Sacred Heart 4 (Hall, Miller, Barksdale 2). Technical fouls: Roberts. Total fouls: Coosa Christian 8, Sacred Heart 11. Officials: Wright, Childs, McCombs.

JCA 86, Gaylesville 30

JACKSONVILLE – Chase Vinson and Jonathan Carter both posted double-doubles and Kobe Messer scored in double figures as the Thunder opened its season with a one-sided victory.
 
Vinson scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Carter went for 16 points and 10 boards. Messer had 13 points.
 
Brady Shaddix was among three Thunder players with nine points, but he also came up with eight steals and dished seven assists.



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