E.A. Sports Today

Cubs shot falls short

Alexandria plays Center Point tight, but in the end its shot fails, emotional season ends in 43-34 loss
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
ANNISTON – Alexandria is a pretty good shot as a rule, but on this night – of all nights – the Valley Cubs’ shot let them down.
The Cubs simply missed too many shots in close and entirely too many from the free throw line in a 43-34 subregion loss to Center Point that brought a premature close to an emotional season.
Looking to return to the Northeast Regional in Jacksonville for the first time since 2016, the Cubs battled the Eagles to a 12-12 tie at halftime and trailed only 28-27 after three quarters. Had they made their free throws it likely would have been a different story.
The Cubs were only 7-of-21 from the line. They hit just one of their first seven and were 5-of-13 in the first half. They were also 3-of-15 from the field in the half.
“We played a good defensive game, it was just our shot wasn’t falling,” Alexandria coach Jason Johnson said. “From the free throw line even inside the paint we just missed a lot of tough shots that you need. They had a lot to do with that, they have some athletic athletes down there.
“It was one of those rough nights shooting the basketball. There have been games where we go 20-for-24 from the free throw line, but tonight we saw it from the other side. It got to everybody a little bit.”
It appeared as if the Cubs reset their shooting eye at halftime. Seth Slaton made a 3 to open the third quarter and D’Anthony Walton hit another moments later to give the Cubs a 19-14 lead, but then they fell into the same kind of funk. The Eagles then went on a 14-4 run to go from five down to five up. 
The swing that turned the game came with about three minutes to play. Center Point was holding a 37-34 lead. Walton had a potential game-tying 3 rim out. On the next possession Walton had a steal but was stripped of the ball midcourt, the Eagles came out with it and Jordan Chatman finished it off with a dunk. The Cubs turned it over again and this time it gave Chatman had an uncontested layup.
“I thought things were looking up and then we had that rough stretch where we missed some free throws, they hit some and then we turned it over and it kind of snowballed after that,” Johnson said.
Chatman led all scorers with 26 points. He scored 22 in the second half, 10 in the fourth quarter.
Landan Williams was Alexandria’s leading scorer with 12 points; he also had seven rebounds. Julian Wright was particularly active, scoring 11 points grabbing three rebounds and blocking four shots.
“We encourage him to be very aggressive and I thought he did a good job for us tonight,” Johnson said of Wright. “He has the ability to do that. He’s got to keep growing and working on his game this summer.”
Center Point 43, Alexandria 34
Jonathan Dudley 3 0-0 7, Roderrick Orr 2 2-2 6, Jayson Jones 2 0-0 4, William Nall 0 0-0 0, Desmond Gaines 0 0-0 0, Jordan Chatman 12 1-1 26, K.C. Irby 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 3-3 43.
ALEXANDRIA – Javais McGhee 0 2-6 2, Adam Young 0 0-1 0, D’Anthony Walton 2 0-1 6, Seth Slaton 1 0-0 3, Julian Wright 4 3-6 11, Dustin Warren 0 0-0 0, Landan Williams 5 2-7 12. Totls 12 7-21 34.
Center Point    8   4    16    15  –  43  
Alexandria       5   7    15    7    –  34 
3-point goals: Center Point 2 (Dudley, Chatman); Alexandria 3 (Walton 2, Slaton). Total fouls: Center Point 20. Alexandria 10. Officials: Driver, Caviness, Southerland.

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