E.A. Sports Today

Anniston jams Rams

Carlisle hits 2 FTs with 16 seconds left, Hall blocks final shot as Bulldogs beat Ramsay to close their 2020 with 11-1 record

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

A post-game conversation hasn’t gone by this season that Anniston basketball coach Torry Brown hasn’t mentioned the big contributions Troy Hall has made during the Bulldogs’ hot start. On Saturday, in his last game of 2020, the junior had one of his best games of the year.

Hall scored 11 points, eight in the second half, was a factor on the glass and blocked the last shot of the game right before the buzzer to preserve the Bulldogs’ 61-60 victory over Ramsay.

“Troy played a great game, he really did,” Brown said. “He got the ball around the rim. He got the ball outside the lane maybe four or five times and drove to the basket really hard. He’s been coming along. Every single game he’s getting better and better.

“He’s just a really, really solid player for us and developing more and more. He’s just doing a lot of little things, much like (Mark) Toyer does; he just does it in a different way. It was good to see him get it with that block, because we needed it.”

Malcolm Carlisle, channeling the Kobe Bryant interviews he watched the night before, hit two free throws with 16.2 seconds left to give the Bulldogs a 61-60 lead. The Rams had the last shot and called time with 4.7 seconds left when it wasn’t developing quite right. On the final possession Calvin Burns came around the top of the key, drove down the right side of the lane into traffic and Hall was there to swat it away. The loose ball fell into Carlisle’s hands under the basket just before the horn sounded.

Brown said Hall’s selflessness on the play reminded him of the charge Malcolm Harvey took at the end of last year’s subregional game that helped secure the win over Jacksonville.

“We were just trying to not let them score; it’s 61-60,” Hall said. “He drove the ball, I came over to help and blocked the shot. I’d rather win a game on defense than I can on offense; that’s what I’m better at. We all work good on defense.”

Hall did have one of the bigger baskets in the game. It came during a stretch early in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs looked to have a chance to seize the momentum. Antonio Kite lunged to keep a ball from going out of bounds and his backwards save went right to Hall who was alone in the lane and laid it in for a 50-46 lead.

“With him being a good guard you’ve got to keep your eyes open all the time,” Hall said of Kite. “There’s no telling when he’s going to pass the ball, so you have to be right there and ready for it.”

As if that play weren’t impressive enough, on he next trip down the floor Carlisle blocked a shot by Ramsay’s 6-9 Mississippi State signee Keshawn Murphy and brought the loose ball all the way back for another layup to make it 52-46.

Carlisle led the Bulldogs with 25 points, 16 in the second half. Kite had 15, going 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Murphy led Ramsay with 18 points, including a 3-pointer from the right corner that gave the Rams a 59-57 lead with 2:14 to play.

With the Bulldogs following Calhoun County’s lead of suspending competition until Jan. 1, they end the 2020 portion of the schedule 11-1. It’s the best start in Brown’s tenure with the Bulldogs. Their only setback was a loss to 7A Thompson in Huntsville last Saturday less than 24 hours after needing a fourth-quarter rally to win an area game at Handley, a notoriously tough place to play.

“We’re 11-1, so it’s been really good,” Kite said. 

“It’s been great, for real,” Carlisle said. “We’re going to get so much better.”

Cover photo: Malcolm Carlisle (4) and Troy Hall (10), shown in an earlier game against White Plains, played critical roles in Anniston’s victory over Ramsay Saturday. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Anniston 61, Ramsay 60
Preston Davis 1 3-4 5, Calvin Burns 5 1-2 13, Jalen Jones 2 6-10 10, Keshawn Murphy 7 3-3 18, Karrigton Kiel 2 0-0 4, Kamron Ivory 1 0-1 2, Skylar Lykes 0 0-0 0, Cameron White 2 0-0 4, Brandon Nixon 1 1-2 4.
ANNISTON (11-1) – Mark Toyer 0 0-0 0, Antonio Kite 4 7-7 15, Jacques Thomas 1 0-0 2, Alex Teague 1 0-0 2, Malcolm Carlisle 10 2-2 25, Troy Hall 5 1-2 11, Miciah Myles 1 2-4 4, Tadyn Jones 0 0-0 0, Kamron Sandlin 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 12-15 61.
Ramsay                   13  14 19  14  –  60
Anniston                16  13  17  15  –  61
3-point goals: Ramsay 4 (Burns 2, Murphy, Nixon); Anniston 3 (Carlisle 3). Fouled out: Myles. Total fouls: Ramsay 14, Anniston 15. Officials: Robinson, Wood, Prociuk.

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