E.A. Sports Today

Much-needed win

Weaver gets its first victory of the season, denies win-starved Wellborn a second straight W; Oxford wins on the road

Monday’s boys scores
Oxford 82, Fort Payne 55
Wadley 51, Randolph County 41
Weaver 71, Wellborn 60

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Weaver boys basketball team needed a win in the worst possible way. Not that Wellborn didn’t, but at least the Panthers had won one already after not winning any on the floor for two years.

The Bearcats finally got their first win of the season Monday – seven games in – 71-60 win on the road.

Not only was it a win, it was an all-important area win. It was the kind of win that can turn the fortunes of an entire athletics department.
“It means a lot because the football team went 0-10 and we haven’t won a game yet,” Bearcats junior guard Kyle Knight said. “I feel like this is going to break the losing We’ll go on top from here.
“We wanted to figure out how to get this losing streak out of our head. Coach told us win, and we went out there and we won.”
It was a close tight game for three quarters, but the Bearcats (1-6) pulled away with a big fourth quarter. They outscored their hosts 18-9 in the fourth quarter and 30-13 after trailing by six midway through the third quarter.
“I think they got my drift about playing defense,” Weaver coach Marcus Herbert said. “No. 1 (KV Wesley) is a great ballplayer for Wellborn and I think we stopped him from penetrating to the goal and I think we got out and ran the break more to get some points in transition.”
Knight led Weaver with 27 points. He hit three 3-pointers in the second half. His first one tie the game at 47 with 2:29 left in the third quarter and his layup on the next possession put the Bearcats ahead for good 49-48. He had a layup and a 3-pointer in the middle of a 11-0 run in the fourth quarter that pushed their lead to 12.
“It’s nice to finally get a W on the board,” Herbert said. “Granted, at the beginning of the year we had a pretty tough schedule, which I did on purpose, but our kids battled. We’re a pretty young group, but I think we’re starting to learn how to play games better. Everybody who played had a role in tonight’s win. Now we have to turn this game from today into tomorrow against Piedmont.”
Wesley led all scorers with 36 points.He brought the Panthers back with 11 points in the second quarter and scored 10 straight points for his team in the middle of the third quarter to give them a 47-41 lead.
“KV can’t come out of the game for us,” Wellborn coach Jordy Houston said. “He plays max-out the entire time. He turns it over a little, but it’s never because of lack of effort. He’s just playing as hard as he possibly can. We just have to get some help around him, but we’ve still got a lot of young guys who just started playing basketball. We’ll be better as the season goes.
“It’s kind of unfortunate we just couldn’t finish the game, and I think when you’re building a program that you haven’t been very successful in the past one of the last things that’s going to come together is being able to finish games and finish close in ballgames in doubt.”

The Panthers (1-1) won their first game on the floor in two years Friday when they beat West End 56-53 in their season opener, but couldn’t capitalize on that momentum. They were awarded a forfeit win two years ago, but they hadn’t won on the scoreboard since beating Ohatchee in the 2017 area tournament. They haven’t been 1-1 since December 2014.
“I was really proud of their effort,” Houston said. “We’ve still got a lot to learn about playing basketball and playing it the right way, and that’s what kind of caught up with us there at the end. The only way you’re going to get better at that stuff is with good experience. We’ve got to go play games and we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.
“I really am proud of their effort. It’s disappointing to just kind of fall part there at the end, but I think with time that’s going to fix itself.”
Weaver 71, Wellborn 60
WEAVER (1-6) –
Quinton Blackerby 0 0-0 0, Brendyn Knight 3 0-2 6, Kohl Perry 1 0-0 2, Marcello D’Ambrosia 4 1-10 10, Jackson Williams 1 1-2 3, Kyle Knight 9 5-8 27, Austin Bryant 2 4-6 8, Armane Burton 5 0-0 11, Taylor Thompson 2 0-5 4, Aidan Goodwin 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 11-33 71.
WELLBORN (1-1) – KV Wesley 15 2-3 36, Chris Lloyd 1 2-4 4, Keyonte Curry 1 1-5 3, Jason Gentry 0 0-0 0, Jesse Lewis 0 0-1 0, Tae Traylor 0 0-0 0, Rob Broom 1 6-8 9, Ethan Tidwell 4 0-1 8, Kamron Jackson 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 11-22 60.
Weaver                  16  17 20  18  –  71
Wellborn               10  20  21  9    –  60  
3-point goals: Weaver 6 (D’Ambrosia, K. Knight 4, Burton); Wellborn 5 (Wesley 4, Broom). Technical fouls: Thompson. Fouled out: Lloyd. Total fouls: Weaver 16, Wellborn 24. Officials: Hughes, Burroughs, McElreeth.

Oxford 82, Fort Payne 55

FORT PAYNE – Justin Moore scored 24 points, Zondrick Garrett had 21 and Rylan Houck 17 as the Yellow Jackets (5-1) enjoyed the best scoring night of the season. Moore got the Jackets going with seven in the first quarter, then scored 17 in the second half. Garrett was big in the second quarter with 13 points and Houck did all his scoring in the final three quarters, with eight coming in the fourth. 
Oxford 82, Fort Payne 55
OXFORD (5-1) –
Zondrick Garrett 8 5-7 21, Rylan Houck 7 2-2 17, Mont McClendon 5 0-2 11, Kobe Warren 1 1-2 4, Bakari Dickey 0 0-0 0, Justin Moore 9 6-8 24, Milas Jackson 1 0-0 2, Ethan Page 1 1-1 3. Totals 32 15-22 83.
FORT PAYNE –  Robert Graham 0 0-0 0, Jacob Hendricks 4 3-4 14, Bryson Richey 3 0-0 8, Kevin Hightower 3 1-2 7, Kyler Rogers 0 0-0 0, Will Abbott 1 0-0 3, Lane White 7 1-2 17, Nathan Crane 0 1-2 1, Elijah Kirby 1 0-0 2, Jayden Dubose 0 0-0 0, Micah Simpson 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 6-10 55.
Oxford                   15  19 25  23  –  82
Fort Payne            11  13 18  13  –  55
3-point goals: Oxford 3 (Houck, McClendon, Warren); Fort Payne 9 (Hendricks 3, Richey 2, Abbott, White 2, Simpson). Fouled out: Hendricks. Total fouls: Oxford 11, Fort Payne 16.

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