E.A. Sports Today

Growing pains

Jacksonville plays its first game with full complement of players, effort was good, but it’s just getting started
Thursday’s boys scores  
Auburn 60, Handley 58
Cleburne County 46, Ranburne 42
Mountain Brook 80, Oxford 45
Pelham 52, Jacksonville 43
Piedmont 67, Pleasant Valley 56
Ragland 86, Jacksonville Christian 82
Saks 77, Coosa Christian 47
Talladega 71, Lincoln 67
Victory Christian 51, ASD 46
White Plains 65, Collinsville 40
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
JACKSONVILLE – Cordell Hunt was texted a piece of advice over the phone the other day about how to proceed with his Jacksonville basketball with the influx of football players coming into the lineup fresh off a long run to the state championship game.
Be patient, the unnamed texter Hunt described only as a “good coach,” said in his message.
The Golden Eagles played their first game with virtually their full complement of football players Thursday and looked at times like a group that had practiced together only a day or two, falling to Pelham 52-43 in an in-school matinee.
The only one among eight football players on Hunt’s varsity roster missing was running back Ron Wiggins. The county’s single-season rushing king was in Mississippi preparing to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game. Hunt admitted Wiggins’ defensive presence on the court would have helped.
“We were about five or six possessions from winning that game right there,” Hunt said. “You could tell the guys who haven’t been playing basketball; some of them just got their hands on the basketball just yesterday.
“The effort was good. I was proud of the effort. We just need some practice time and we need just some get together team time.”
The Golden Eagles (4-1) fell behind early, but rallied to take the lead in the second quarter on a 3-pointer by Omarion Adams and help it until the 6A Panthers scored the last six points to the quarter to take a 25-24 halftime lead.
Two free throws by Yessman Green put them back on top 28-27 with 5:36 left in the third quarter, then Pelham went on a 15-4 run to the end of the quarter to take control of the game. The closest Jacksonville got after that was five on a Caden Johnson 3-pointer with about six minutes to play. 
“They were hard-guarding the basketball,” Hunt said. “We’ve got to move more without the ball, cut to the basket and when we get a chance to finish at the basket, we’ve got to finish. We missed some layups.
“I told our team our basketball sense is not there yet. There’s book sense, there’s street sense, our basketball sense is not with us yet. It’s just going to take some when we play some games and we’re fixin’ to play some.
“I know what our team can do. I know they can get after it. I know they’ll get tipped balls. When you get tipped balls we can layups on the other end. I know we can do a better job keeping men in front of us. And I know we can score the ball. We didn’t score the ball very good today. We’ve got to score the ball better.”
Johnson, a freshman, led the Golden Eagles with 13 points. Adams had 11. The football players combined for 21 points on 6-of-21 shooting from the floor, six assists, seven steals and eight turnovers.
“I think as we get more into these situations we will be clicking and we’ll be a very good team,” Green said.
PELHAM (7-5) – 6-13 3-4 16, Joshua Lacey 6-8 2-6 14, Alexander Deaver 3-4 0-0 6, Xavier Lankford 3-7 0-0 6, Roy Gonzalez Flores 2-3 2-2 6, Kendan Maddox 2-3 0-0 4, Myles Wynn 0-1 0-0 0, Nathan Rottier 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Holloway 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-40 7-12 52.
JACKSONVILLE (4-1) – Caden Johnson 6-9 0-0 13, Omarion Adams 4-7 2-3 11, Yessman Green 2-8 5-5 9, Donavon McCain 2-3 3-4 7, Hudson Harvey 1-2 0-0 2, Kyrie Maynor 0-5 1-3 1, Cam Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, John Broom 0-0 0-0 0, Jaden Barksdale 0-1 0-0 0, Nathan Barnwell 0-0 0-0 0, Radanis Kirksey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-37 11-15 43
Pelham                 15   10  17   10   –   52
Jacksonville        11   13   8    11   –   43
3-point goals: Pelham 1-4 (Floyd 1-3, Rottier 0-1); Jacksonville 2-12 (Cd. Johnson 1-2, Adams 1-1, Green 0-4, Maynor 0-2, Cm. Johnson 0-2, Barksdale 0-1). Rebounds: Pelham 26 (Lacey 7, Lankford 6); Jacksonville 24 (McCain 7). Technical fouls: Maynor. Fouled out: Maynor. Total fouls: Pelham 15, Jacksonville 15. Officials: Holmes, Smith, Hall.

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