E.A. Sports Today

It’s electric

Boys roundup: Malcolm Carlisle gets back in the game after two year layoff, scores 38 lifting Anniston to thrilling victory

Anniston guard Malcolm Carlisle pleads his case to the bench after having a foul called on him in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s season-opener against Hoover.

Tuesday’s boys games
Anniston 61, Hoover 59
Jacksonville Christian 56, Ranburne 55
Munford 68, Donoho 45
Faith Christian 53, Weaver 49

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Malcolm Carlisle played like a senior who hadn’t played since his sophomore year and his energy helped Anniston get a season full of promise off to a rousing start.

Carlisle scored 38 points, hit seven 3-pointers and played aggressive — sometimes too aggressive — defense at times in helping the Bulldogs edge Hoover in its season-opener 61-59 Tuesday night.

“I had a job to be done, I had to do my job, and I had to help them win,” he said. “I hadn’t played in two years. It’s makeup time.”

For all Carlisle and the rest of the Bulldogs did, they had to hold their breath for the win. Carlisle hit a free throw with 2.8 seconds left to make it. 61-59 and then Hoover’s Colby Carter drained a 3-pointer from the right corner for an apparent game-winner but officials ruled he didn’t get it off in time.

Anniston coach Torry Brown said he heard the horn first. Hoover coach Scott Ware said he didn’t comment on officiating and Bucs team officials didn’t allow player interviews immediately after the game.

Much of the fanfare of the game was focused on seeing if this Anniston team had what it took to live up to the expectations of a potential state championship and Malcolm was very much in the middle of it.

Much of the hype surrounded the return of Antonio Kite, the state’s best junior, and his pairing with Carlisle, a prolific scorer whose high school career has taken a circuitous route.

The flashy guard ended up at Anniston after more stops than the southbound city bus – Saks, Faith Christian, Sacred Heart and back to Saks. The game against Hoover was his first since the second game of his sophomore year when trouble brewed over his transfer to Faith.

The bottom line was Carlisle was declared ineligible, Faith had to forfeit all the victories it earned while he played and since he wasn’t going to be able to play the rest of that season he transferred out. Still, wherever he landed he’d have to serve his probationary penalty and his year in residence.

All of that’s behind him now. It was finally time for Tuesday night’s return.

“I was very excited,” he said. “It was very electric. I just missed it. I can’t describe the feeling. It was everything (he thought it would be), plus more.”

Maybe too excited. His first official shot back Tuesday was an air ball from 3, but he’s never lacked or lost confidence after one missed shot. He got back on defense and blocked a shot on the trip back down the floor, which impressed his coach more than anything he did on the night, and then hit his next six shots from the field, including four from 3-point range and scored 18 of the Bulldogs’ first 19 points.

But along the way he also picked up his third foul with 5:28 left in the second quarter and sat the rest of the half as Hoover rallied to take a 28-25 lead.

“For a guy who’s laid off as long as he has, to come out and perform the way that he did I thought was really good,” Brown said. “I texted him last night and told him you hadn’t played in a while so I don’t want you over-aggressive, getting in foul trouble. That’s what happened, but he played through it in the second half and he played like a senior. I’m happy for him. He’s a really good kid and it’s just good that he finally got a chance to showcase how good he really is.””

Carlisle missed his first shot in the second half, too. Actually, his first three this time, but then went on another tear with 10 points in the 18-2 run that rallied the Bulldogs from 34-25 down to 43-36 ahead with 1:07 left in the third. Included in the run was a thunderous slam that tied the game at 36 followed by a 3-pointer that put the Dawgs ahead. 

He had another six points in a 9-1 run in the fourth quarter that put the Bulldogs up for good. Yet for all the good things he did in his return, it should be noted he missed two free throws with 1:21 left and a layup with a teammate wide open under the basket with 26 seconds to play that could have eliminated the end-game drama.

Still, even if those shots didn’t connect, it proves he is one of the players the Bulldogs want with the ball in his hands when something needs to happen, a role that shouldn’t diminish when Kite gets his basketball legs all the way back after a season playing football. Just as Hoover did with Carter when it needed a 3 at the end.

Ultimately, Carlisle was 13-for-20 from the field in his first game back, 7-of-11 from 3-point range, and even when he launched a shot that a missed the crowd cheered wildly in anticipation of it having a chance.

“He showed up big, I ain’t gonna lie,” Kite said. “I expected him to show up big like that, though; that’s my boy, I grew up with him. Just like me in football (this fall). I ain’t played in a minute and I went crazy. My boy, he ain’t played in a minute and he went crazy. It’s his time. He had a great game.”

“I just want to win,” Carlisle said. “I knew I had to come out and score but I wasn’t coming out to score that many numbers because it wasn’t about me. It was about my team. It was about winning. This is our house, ain’t nobody coming in here and beat us. I don’t know what the heck was going on last year, but it’s a new year, we’re gonna forget about last year. New year. New team. Same goal.”

Anniston 61, Hoover 59
HOOVER (3-1) –
D.J. Fairley 5 1-5 13, Michael Scott Myers 2 0-0 5, Chip Culpepper 7 6-6 20, Parker Williams 1 1-3 4, T.Q. Richardson 0 0-0 0, Brodin Grady 0 0-1 0, Christian Bryant 1 0-0 3, Austin Montgomery 3 0-1 6, Colby Carter 3 0-0 6, Team 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 8-15 59.
ANNISTON (1-0) – Mark Toyer 1 1-2 3, Antonio Kite 1 6-6 8, Jacques Thomas 0 0-0 0, Alex Teague 0 1-2 1, Malcolm Carlisle 13 5-8 38, Troy Hall 0 0-2 0, Miciah Myles 2 1-2 5, Jadyn Jones 2 2-4 6, Jakobe Collins 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 16-26 61.

Hoover              14  14 11  20   –  59
Anniston           11  14 18  18   –  61
3-point goals: Hoover 5 (Fairley 2, Myers, Williams, Bryant); Anniston 7 (Carlisle 7). Fouled out: Grady. Total fouls: Hoover 22, Anniston 20.

Faith Christian 53, Weaver 49

Ethan Richerzhagen scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and the Lions shot 17-of-37 from the free throw line to hold off Weaver, pushing coach Schuessler Ware above .500 for the first time in his tenure at Faith and handing Beau Winn his first loss at Weaver.

Richerzhagen, who hit four 3-pointers in the first half and was 5-of-9 from beyond the arc in the game, was one of three Faith scorers in double figures, joined by Jacque Prater (15) and Thomas Curlee (12). Prater was 7-of-12 from the line. He also had four assists and three steals.

Jeffrey Miles led Weaver with 15 points. Brendyn Knight had 11. The Bearcats were 6-fo-12 from the free throw line.

Faith Christian 53, Weaver 49
WEAVER (1-1) –
Brendyn Knight 5 1-4 11, Kyle Knight 3 0-0 8, Kendarrrius McGregor 2 3-4 8, Jackson Williams 1 0-0 2, Kole Perry 1 0-0 2, Briley Carter 0 0-0 0, Jeffrey Miles 7 1-2 15, Tristan Brown 1 1-2 3. Totals 20 6-12 49.
FAITH CHRISTIAN (2-1) – Nic Goodgame 2 4-8 8, Jacque Prater 3 7-12 15, Thomas Curlee 3 4-9 12, Ethan Richerzhagen 6 1-4 17, Brody Dodson 0 1-2 1, Yashua Aervalo 0 0-0 0, Colton Pahman 0 0-0 0, Damian Arevalo 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 17-37 53.

Weaver             10  16  10 13  –  49
Faith Christian 18  13   7  15  –  53

3-point goals: Weaver 3 (K. Knight 2, McGregor); Faith Christian 8 (Prater 2, Curlee 2, Richerzhagen 4). Fouled out: Richerzhagen. Total fouls: Weaver 23. Faith Christian 15. Officials: Morriss, Prociiuk, Askew.

Jacksonville Christian 56, Ranburne 55

RANBURNE – Ethan Burrage hit the front end of a one-and-one to give the Thunder a two-point lead and then they held on as Ranburne hit the back end of a two-shot foul trying to miss with three-tenths of a second left for the final margin.

Burrage finished with 12 points as did Tanner Wilson. Landon Wills led the Thunder with 22 points and seven rebounds. Tavian Alexandria scored seven points and grabbed 15 rebounds. 

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