E.A. Sports Today

Looking for 20

Alexandria moves a step closer to a 20-win season after a Senior Night victory over rival Jacksonville
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Alexandria has won its area, secured hosting rights for the area tournament and earned an automatic berth into the Class 5A sub-region round of the playoffs. You’d think the Valley Cubs have got it all, but they still have plenty to play for.
The Valley Cubs would love nothing better than to present their seniors with the lovely parting gift of a 20-win season. They gave themselves three more games to get two more wins after getting past Jacksonville Thursday night, 74-62.
“They’re trying to get to 20,” Cubs coach Jason Johnson said. “That’s always a nice number. You try to get those even numbers, those solid numbers. These seniors want to have a 20-win season, so we’ll see what happens.”
The Valley Cubs haven’t had a 20-win season since 2016-17, when the Alabama high school football/basketball history site has them going 20-10.
At 18-5, the mark is well within reach, but the Cubs must be diligent. They wrap up their regular season Friday against neighborhood rival Saks, play in their area championship game next week and have at least the sub-region game after that.
“For these seniors that’s been something they’ve been talking about,” Johnson said. “I think every senior class wants to leave some type of legacy and this group right here wants to leave a legacy of playing hard, playing the right way and having success. Twenty wins would definitely illustrate that.”
Junior Landan Williams helped his senior teammates get closer to that magic number with 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. D’Anthony Walton had a full box score with 11 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, two steals and five assists. Senior Seth Slaton had 13 points and Julian Wright had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Senior Adam Young returned to the lineup after missing most of the year following knee surgery. He didn’t score, but he started — it was Senior Night, after all — and had a steal in nearly six minutes of action.
“That would be pretty good, something we hadn’t done in a while,” Williams said of the 20-win plateau. “I’d like to get 20, the seniors would like to get 20. Coach Johnson would like to get us to 20, too.
The Valley Cubs used two big runs to take control of the game. The Golden Eagles erased an early deficit and took a 23-19 lead early in the second quarter, but Alexandria went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. Walton had four points in the middle of the run. The Cubs held Jacksonville to four points in the quarter to take a 32-25 halftime lead.
They opened the second half on a 16-3 tear to push their lead to 20. Five different players scored in the run and Walton had a 3-pointer right in the middle of it.
“I was trying to attack the basket and help my team win,” he said. “We needed some baskets so I tried to go get them and I was glad I was able to deliver for the team.”
Donavon McCain gave the Cubs matchup problems all game and he led the Golden Eagles with 22 points and eight rebounds. Caden Johnson had 15 points and six rebounds, and Kyrie Maynor had 11 points and six aassists.
Alexandria 74, Jacksonville 62
Donavon McCain 9-19 2-2 22, Caden Johnson 5-9 2-2 15, Kyrie Maaynor 3-8 2-2 11, John Broom 2-6 0-0 6, Hudson Harvey 2-6 0-0 4, Yessman Green 1-6 0-0 2, Cam Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Ron Wiggins 0-1 0-0 0, Jaden Barksdale 0-1 0-0 0, Q Long 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 6-6 62.
ALEXANDRIA (18-5) – Landan Williams 6-14 10-12 23, Seth Slaton 3-7 4-4 13, D’Anthony Walton 4-8 2-3 11, Julian Wright 5-6 0-4 10, Collin Taylor 2-3 3-4 9, Javais McGhee 3-4 1-2 8, Ivonte Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Dustin Warren 0-0 0-0 0, Javarious Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Adam Young 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-43 20-29 74.
Jacksonville                           21  4    16  21  –  62
Alexandria                             19  13  22  20  –  74
3-point goals: Jacksonville 10-36 (McCain 2-5, Cd. Johnson 3-7, Maynor 3-6, Broom 2-6, Harvey 0-1, Green 0-4, Cm. Johnson 0-2, Wiggins 0-1, Barksdale 0-1, Long 0-3); Alexandria 8-14 (Williams 1-2, Slaton 3-5, Walton 1-3, Taylor 2-3, McGhee 1-1). Rebounds: Jacksonville 33 (McCain 8); Alexandria 36 (Walton 9, Wright 9). Fouled out: Wiggins. Total fouls: Jacksonville 18, Alexandria 8. Officials: Douthitt, Stringer, Tillery.

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