E.A. Sports Today

Wildcats rewarded

White Plains takes control early, earns its first victory of the season in rout of TCC

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN – White Plains coach Chris Randall can’t remember the last time his basketball teams ever started a season 0-3 or 0-4 — if it ever happened at all. Well, he doesn’t have to worry about it now.

The cranberry sauce around their tables Thursday will taste a lot better after the Wildcats overran undermanned Talladega County Central 60-26 for their first win of the season on the final day of the Lincoln Round-Robin..

“Heck yeah,” Randall said. “It’s good to get a win, but for this team it’s all about every single day getting better. Our focus hadn’t been necessarily winning and losing; it’s been improvement. After the Oxford game we played better every night. We want a continual two-percent better every day. So far, it’s been working.

“When you act right and respect the game, sooner or later it’ll pay off and we feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”

The win snapped the Wildcats’ longest in-season losing streak since mid-January 2019 (Cherokee County, Anniston, Jacksonville). They hadn’t lost four in a row since December 2017.

This early game was over early. The Wildcats (1-3) scored the first 16 points and led 21-2 after the first quarter. 

The margin gave them a chance to play everyone and 10 players scored. The non-starters combined for 39 points and 23 rebounds.

Tucker Pearson was their leading scorer with a career-high 15 points. He also grabbed a team-high six rebounds. The guard had scored only 12 points all season and was scoreless in Tuesday’s last-second loss to Lincoln.

“He was very efficient,” Randall said. “He did a good job of getting to the rim. Tucker’s a 3-point guy and he only made one today … so he found other ways to score, which he needed to. It was good to see him have a good night.”

“To me it’s not really about scoring, it’s about helping my teammates,” Pearson said. “Yesterday I didn’t score any at all and I was just as happy as I am today.”

TCC only had six players available. The Fighting Tigers’ biggest threat, 6-4 guard Cameron Swain, has missed the last two games with a groin pull but is expected to be back next week. He is averaging 30 points a game.

White Plains 60, Talladega Co. Central 26
Tucker Pearson 6 2-5 15, Paul Laube 3 2-2 8, Dylan Barksdale 2 1-1 5, Cole Senciboy 0 0-0 0, Josh Wheeler 2 0-0 5, Z.J. Rosario 3 0-0 6, Braden Knight 1 1-2 3, Daniel Williams 1 0-0 2, Walker Osteen 4 0-0 9, Kendrick Ball 0 0-0 0, Collin Spivey 1 0-0 2, Silas Hines 1 3-4 5, Ray Coleman 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 9-14 60.
TALLADEGA CO. CENTRAL (3-3) – Patrick Dossus 2 0-0 6, Jakendrick Tuck 1 1-1 3, Jamion Garrett 0 0-0 0, Kendarius Hickman 4 0-0 10, Javari McKenzie 1 3-6 5, Jamier Duncan 1 0-0 2. Totals 9 4-7 26
White Plains                         21  20  10   9  –  60
Talladega Co. Cent.               2  10    7   7 –  26
3-point goals: White Plains 3 (Pearson, Wheeler, Osteen); TCC 4 (Dossus 2, Hickman 2). Fouled out: Garrett. Total fouls: White Plains 12, TCC 15.

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