E.A. Sports Today

A lot Moore

Boys roundup: Oxford’s Moore has another big night in FBS Shootout, Piedmont shuts it down after second loss in Springville, Rome adds game with J’ville in Heflin

Tuesday’s boys scores
Heflin Holiday Hoops
Spring Garden 63, Ranburne 37
Rome (Ga.) 71, Handley 55
Vincent 46, Cleburne County 30

First State Bank Shootout, Rainsville
Oxford 63, Albertville 41

Greater Gadsden Christmas Classic
(At Gadsden City HS)
Hokes Bluff 74, Sardis 49
West End 51, Glencoe 44
Etowah 55, Westbrook 47
Gadsden City 69, Southside 44

Hilburn-Patterson Haralson County (Ga.) Invitational
Cedartown 61, Faith Christian 38
Sonoraville 69, Bowdon 54
Haralson County 47, Bremen 46

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

RAINSVILLE – Justin Moore followed his big game the first day of the FSB Shootout with another big night Tuesday, scoring a team-high 21 points in leading Oxford to a 63-41 victory over Albertville.

Justin Moore has scored 48 points in Oxford’s first two games in the FSB Shootout. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

The senior guard had 27 points in the Yellow Jackets’ first-night win over Buckhorn and he picked up right where he left off. He scored 16 points in the second half against Buckhorn and had 13 in the first half against the Aggies. He had eight in the fourth quarter against Buckhorn and nine in the first quarter Tuesday.

“One of the biggest things is we’ve kind of evolved a little bit and put the ball in his hands more,” Jackets coach Joel VanMeter said. “He’s really, for lack of a better term, become a point guard and he’s explosive.

“Justin has done a great job of evolving as a player. He’s taken a step every year and in my humble opinion he’s a Division I basketball player … and it’s solely from the work that he’s done and put in the gym. Coach (Jeremy) Bynum has spent a ton of time with him and pushed him and he’s reaping the rewards of his work.”

Rylan Houck complemented Moore with 14 points. Roc Taylor had seven points and Cordell Chapman had six, but it was the work Chapman did defensively early that set the tone.

Between Moore’s offense and Chapman’s defense, the Jackets bolted to a 23-9 lead in the first quarter and led 38-17 at halftime. 

The Aggies were playing without their best player, Trinity Bell, injured in Monday night’s game, and his absence was felt. Ben Allen (10 points) was their only scorer in double figures.

“I thought we played a really good first half,” VanMeter said. “The second half we didn’t play as well … but we were able to finish the game the right way.”

The Jackets (11-2) have won seven in a row and haven’t lost since Nov. 23. They wrap up their stay in the Shootout Wednesday with a 4 p.m. game against Elkmont.

Oxford 63, Albertville 41
 Chi Jordan 2 0-0 4, Givenchy Dorival 1 0-0 3, Ben Allen 4 0-0 10, Jyhno Charles 3 0-0 6, Caydin Blunt 0 0-0 0, Trevor Coppins 0 0-0 0, Joseph Prickett 1 1-2 3, Elijah Moss 3 0-0 7, Zion Davis 4 0-0 8, William Kitchens 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 1-2 41.
OXFORD (11-2) – Avelon Bush 1 0-0 3, Cordell Chatman 2 0-0 6, Rylan Houck 6 2-2 14, Peyton Watts 1 0-0 3, Mike McGraw 1 0-0 2, Roc Taylor 3 1-1 7, Bakari Dailey 1 0-0 2, Justin Moore 9 2-2 21, Josh Johnson 0 0-0 0, Josh Patton 2 0-0 5, Zurrell Garrett 0 0-0 0, Aaron McFarland 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 5-5 63.
Albertville              9     8      13   11   –   41
Oxford                     23   15   15   10   –   63
3-point goals: Albertville 4 (Dorival, Allen 2, Moss); Oxford 6 (Bush, Chatman 2, Watts, Moore, Patton). Total fouls: Albertville 11, Oxford 9. Officials: Batey, Stroud, Hollingsworth.

Heflin Holiday Hoops

It’s Game On for Wolves, Golden Eagles

HEFLIN – The Rome Wolves had just finished celebrating another win in the Heflin Holiday Hoops Tournament when acting head coach Marcus Herbert went around the room trying to determine how many players he might have available if they could play another game.

The Wolves were scheduled for two games in the three-day event because they had a previously scheduled commitment for Wednesday. When that game fell through due to the opponent’s COVID-19 issues, they still wanted to play and went looking for a game.

After numerous phone calls, they found it. An on-again, off-again game with Jacksonville was back on and it’s set to wrap up the tournament Wednesday at 6 p.m.

“We’re just looking forward to playing another quality opponent,” Herbert said.

Actually both teams want to play. Jacksonville was anxious to find games after spending the last 20 days shuttered by its administration’s policy of suspending extra-curricular activities during periods of virtual learning. Rome simply wanted to keep playing.

But in the uncertainty of the scheduling plans, several Rome players had made arrangements for other activities, including reservations to the Georgia high school football championship games, and that’s what had Herbert trying to determine how many players he’d have to bring back for a third game here.

The only disappointing aspect of putting the game together is Wolves head coach Ryan Chambless, a Calhoun County native, has to miss the trip because he’s been touched by COVID-19. The quarantine will keep him from bringing his current team to play one of his former teams in a gym where he used to be the head coach; he coached Cleburne County after a stint at Jacksonville and before going to Pleasant Valley.

The Wolves won their second game here Tuesday with a 71-55 victory over Handley, another game that got put together in the scramble to replace teams and was expected to be a headliner. Jacksonville won its only game here Monday, a 74-54 win over Ranburne in its first game since Dec. 8.

The Wolves raced to a 22-point lead in the third quarter and held that margin early in the fourth before Handley got it back within 12 with 3:12 to play. Herbert called time and his team responded with the next seven points to win going away.

“That’s been our Achilles this year,” Herbert said. “We get up on people and then they relax and let people get back in the game. We lost a game two weeks because we relaxed. We were up 14 in the fourth quarter and then we quit playing. Once they understand and learn just because you’re up you don’t take breaks, you have to have that killer mentality and finish the game. Once we get that I think we’ll be OK.”

It’s something you can only learn by playing and the Wolves are getting another chance to do just that.

SPRING GARDEN 63, RANBURNE 37: Lately, practice days the day after a game have been recovery days for the Panthers, but with a rare 10:30 a.m. tip time they didn’t have much for their regular routine.

So they loaded up the bus a little early and got in a little practice right before they played and it paid off in a big way. The Panthers opened a 25-5 lead in the first quarter and stretched it to 41-13 at halftime.

“This morning we were rough looking, so we got here an hour early and we actually practiced a little bit,” Panthers coach Ricky Austin said. “Got to do some full-court stuff and I think got our juices flowing. We looked like a basketball team the first quarter.”

It sure got Weston Kirk and Chaz Pope into the flow early. They both hit two 3-pointers and scored eight points in the first quarter. Kirk finished with a team-high 15 points and Pope had 10. Cam Welsh scored all nine of his points in the first half.

Don’t look for what happened Tuesday morning to be the norm. If they do practice a little before they play Wednesday, they’ll do it in their own gym.

Spring Garden 63, Ranburne 37
Weston Kirk 6 0-0 15, Cooper Austin 2 0-0 4, Andrew Floyd 2 0-0 4, Ryley Kirk 2 2-2 8, Andrew Bates 0 0-0 0, Luke Welsh 2 0-0 4, John Welsh 0 1-2 1, D. Wright 4 0-0 8, Chaz Pope 4 0-0 10, Cam Welsh 4 0-0 9. Totals 26 3-4 63.
RANBURNE – Will Hewitt 1 0-0 2, Ben Jackson 3 0-0 6, Tyler Craft 7 0-2 14, Colby Hanson 5 2-4 13, Trav McMahon 0 0-0 0, Carson Riddle 1 0-0 2, Carlos Mitchell 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 2-6 27.
Spring Garden    25   16   12   10   –  63
Ranburne             5     8     14   10   –  37
3-point goals: Spring Garden 8 (W. Kirk 3, R. Kirk 2, Pope 2, C. Welsh); Ranburne 1 (Hanson). Total fouls: Spring Garden 11, Ranburne 10. Officals: Lackey, Taylor, McElreeth.

Rome (Ga.) 71, Handley 55
Ian Mosley 0 0-0 0, Christian Jones 1 2-2 4, Graham Martin 3 0-0 6, Daquavious Lawrence 0 0-0 0, Jalen Herren 1 0-0 2, Maurice Cameron 1 0-0 2, Josh Smith 3 1-4 7, Dekerion Nunn 0 0-0 0, Dylan Brooks 5 0-3 10, Tydrick Treadwell 8 1-2 18, Quadae Lewis 0 0-0 0, Ayden Robertson 2 2-2 6, Tamarious Treadwell 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 6-13 55.
ROME – Cam Keith 2 3-4 7, Jamarius McDearmont 3 0-0 6, Jayquan Nelson 1 1-4 4, Tyson Warren 0 0-0 0, Jay Wise 4 2-2 11, E.J. Holland 1 2-2 4, Braxton Wade 7 3-4 18, Martel Hight 0 0-0 0, Mason Tillery 2 1-1 5, Justyn Smith 4 8-10 16. Totals 24 20-27 71. 
Handley  10   11   11   23   –  55
Rome      13   21   17   20   –  71
3-point goals: Handley 1 (Ty. Treadwell); Rome 3 (Nelson, Wise, Wade). Total fouls: Handley 23, Rome 15. Officials: McElreeth, Taylor, Lackey.

Haralson County Invitational

Lions go cold in third

TALLAPOOSA, Ga. – After staying close in the first half, Faith Christian went cold in the third quarter and it opened the door for Cedartown to pull away for a 61-38 victory and hand the Lions their second loss of the tournament and sixth in a row.

The Lions, who scored a season-high 75 points in their opening-round game, trailed by only seven at halftime, but then went 0-for-17 from the field in the third quarter while the Bulldogs outscored them 27-9 to take control. Faith scored all of its points in the quarter on 9-of-12 shooting from the free throw line.

Ethan Richerzhagen led Faith with 16 points. 

Cedartown 61, Faith Christian 38
Nic Goodgame 2 3-4 8, Jacques Prater 0 2-4 2, Thomas Curlee 1 5-7 7, Ethan Richerzhagen 6 2-2 16, Brody Dodson 0 0-0 0, Yashma Arevalo 1 0-0 2, Seth Abston 1 1-2 3, Colton Pahman 0 0-0 0, Damian Arevalo 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 13-19 38.
CEDARTOWN – Ronald Knight 1 0-2 2, Xavier Holiday 3 0-0 6, DJ Whatley 1 0-0 2, Michael Walker 3 1-2 7, MJ Holiday 6 0-0 15, Washington 0 2-2 2, Jordan Johnson 2 0-0 5, Logan Walters 2 0-0 5, Jeremiah Johnson 6 0-0 14, Tony Beeman 0 1-2 1, Ray Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 4-8 61
Faith Christian    8    6      9    15     –  38
Cedartown           10   11   27  13    –   61
3-point goals: Faith 3 (Goodgame, Richerzhagen 2); Cedartown 7 (MJ Holiday 3, Jo. Johnson, Walters, Je. Johnson 2); Total fouls: Faith 6, Cedartown 16.

Springville Invitational

Piedmont boys sidelined

The Piedmont boys basketball had just suffered its second lopsided loss in as many days in the post-Christmas Springville Invitational. A few hours after the loss to Ragland school officials announced the program would suspending activities until Jan. 12 for “circumstances involving COVID-19.”

No other details were provided in its announcement.

The decision affects only the boys varsity and B teams. The girls team can continue to play – and in fact coach Terrace Ridley would encourage it – provided their opponents would be willing to play what effectively would be a single-game date.

The Bulldogs, as well as Oxford, Anniston (for a time) and private schools JCA and Faith, continued to play after Calhoun County Schools administrators earlier this month suspended outside sports competition for its seven affiliated high schools through the end of the year. They said at the time they would revisit the decision around Jan. 1, so that deadline is fast approaching. 

The Calhoun County Basketball Tournament is scheduled to begin Jan. 16. The Bulldogs are seeded fifth and wouldn’t play in the tournament until Jan. 18, but they would still have only a few days to prepare after their shutdown ends.

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