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Jacksonville girls open Calhoun County Tournament win a win over Faith Christian as Shelvin fills in as coach; includes updated bracket

Jacksonville’s Ashley Grant (C) seems to have her way blocked by three Faith defenders. Grant found a path and wound up scoring 32 points in the Lady Golden Eagles’ win. On the cover, Jacksonville acting coach Jordan Shelvin makes a point during his post-game radio interview. (Photo by Greg Warren)

Friday’s game
Jacksonville 67, Faith Christian 25

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE – Jordan Shelvin was helping out a driver with the last delivery of his day job when he got a call from Jacksonville girls basketball coach Corey Mize.

First, the head coach wondered if his young assistant was going to make the 4:30 p.m. game. Of course, Shelvin said. Well, suit up, Mize told him, you’ve got the game.

“It blew my mind,” he said.

Under normal circumstances Shelvin would serve as a dutiful assistant, handling whatever role the head man needed him to maintain. Friday night, he was called into emergency head coaching duties as Mize’s wife Chelsea, the Weaver volleyball coach, was going into labor to deliver the couple’s second child.

This would be around lunch time. Six hours later, the Mizes had a beautiful, healthy daughter, Allie Codi Mize, and Shelvin had his first win as head coach, as the Lady Golden Eagles rolled over Faith Christian 67-25 in the opening round of the Calhoun County Basketball Tournament.

“She delivered at 1:54 this afternoon,” Mize reported from the hospital. “Baby and momma are perfect. Girls played a great game. It’s a great day.”

Shelvin’s day job is as sales supervisor for a major beverage distributor, but when he clocks out, the 28-year-old helps coach all three Jacksonville basketball teams. He was Tres Buzan’s girls assistant last year, then moved over when Buzan was elevated to the head boys coach, but he felt indebted to the girls that were just developing as a team. He also coaches the junior varsity.

“With the coaching change that happened this summer I had a choice and I couldn’t choose, so I chose both,” he said.

On Friday, Shelvin figured his role was more of a motivator, which he said is more in line with what he’s good at. He gave the girls a choice of what to play and let them have it. They responded to their emergency coach by scoring the first 15 points of the game. They led 20-10 after the first quarter, then outscored the Lady Lions 24-2 in the second.

Ashley Grant led Jacksonville with 32 points, the first 30-point game of her career. Alexis Phillips had 14 with six rebounds and five steals, Dee Prothro had 10. Ally Folsom had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Faith.

“I think I kind of wanted to make (the Mizes) proud,” Grant said. “When I came to halftime I had 17 points, that’s when I realized (30 could happen) and Jordan was like, ‘Hey, Ash, you gotta get 30, Ash.’

“I’ve always wanted to get 30 since I was a little girl. I feel like if you get 30 points I think that’d just be a huge milestone for me. It’s always a goal.”

Mize is expected to be back on the bench for the Lady Golden Eagles’ second-round game against third-seeded Ohatchee Wednesday. The newly undefeated head coach is all right with returning the keys. 

“I think I’m going to retire with a 1.000 winning percentage,” he said. “Your dream is to coach, to be a head coach at one point in your life, but I think my purpose is to just be a vessel for everybody, whether it be a coach or player, the manager on the bench, whatever. Whatever they might ask for, they might ask for anything, I’m there.”

FAITH CHRISTIAN – Ally Folsom 5-14 3-7 13, Serenity Pate 2-8 0-0 5, Cheyenne Rice 2-3 0-0 4, Anna Robertson 1-4 0-0 2, Emma Shaw 0-5 1-2 1, Maya Montgomery 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 10-35 4-9 25.
JACKSONVILLE – Ashley Grant 13-23 3-3 32, Alexis Phillips 6-10 0-0 14, Dee Prothro 4-5 2-3 10, Halaina Lozano 2-8 1-2 5, Ontarriah Braxton 1-4 2-2 4, Mya Swain 1-7 0-0 2, Olivia Rowan 0-0 0-0 0, Camryn Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Sanders 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 8-10 67.
Faith Christian    10         2          5         8 –       25
Jacksonville    20        24        17        6 –       67
3-point goals: Faith 1-7 (Folsom 0-2, Pate 1-1, Robertson 0-3, Shaw 0-1); Jacksonville 5-24 (Grant 3-9, Phillips 2-4, Lozano 0-5, Braxton 0-1, Swain 0-2, Sanders 0-3). Rebounds: Faith 42 (Folsom 12, Pate 7); Jacksonville 28 (Phillips). Fouled out: Robertson. Total fouls: Faith 11, Jacksonville 12.

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