E.A. Sports Today

Pleasant hosts?

Pleasant Valley’s boys, girls split with Cedar Bluff, eye Munford then much bigger area games with Ranburne on Friday

Pleasant Valley’s Macey Roper shoots as Cedar Bluff’s Kindal Grace defends during their game Monday at Pleasant Valley. (Photo by Krista Larkin)

 By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

PLEASANT VALLEY — Some nights, a head coach just has to shrug, and Brad Hood did Monday.

“There was a lid on it,” he said after his Pleasant Valley boys fell 55-45 to visiting Cedar Bluff.

That there was, and best to get it out of the way before bigger things later his week.

The Raiders’ boys and girls split with Cedar Bluff, the No. 10 team in Class 1A in the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s most recent poll for boys and girls. The Raiders’ girls won 53-46.

Tuesday night, Class 2A Pleasant Valley’s teams play up at home, against 4A Munford.  

That sets the stage for the Friday games that could set the stage for Pleasant Valley to host boys’ and girls’ area tournaments. Ranburne’s boys and girls come calling, and wins would at least position the Raiders for coin flips to see which team hosts the area tournament.

Pleasant Valley’s boys could earn the right to host the area tourney for the first time since 2013. They’d like to earn it outright, without a coin flip.

To flip or not to flip depends on what happens between Ranburne and Woodland on Tuesday.

“We’ll know tomorrow night,” Hood said. “I think Ranburne beat Woodland (43-31) the other day at Ranburne. If Woodland can beat Ranburne at Woodland, then the game right here will determine who’s the outright winner.”

EIther way, Pleasant Valley’s home games with Ranburne are big.

“The biggest game of the season so far, outside of the actual tournament, is this Friday,” sophomore guard Hunter Sparks said.

That’s why it was good for Pleasant Valley to get Monday’s rugged shooting night out of the way in a non-area game.

Sparks led the Raiders with 16 points. Kolby Battles added 11 and Jesse Gannaway 10, and Pleasant Valley got off to a 12-5 start.

Then the lid closed. Led by M.J. Adams’ 19 points and 13 from Eli McFry, Cedar Bluff outscored Pleasant Valley 26-10 over a stretch that started in the first quarter and carried into the third.

Gannaway 3-pointers in the fourth quarter rallied the Raiders to within 46-40 and 48-43, but Adams’ driving bucket made it 50-43. A McFry three made it 53-45.

“If we shoot average, we win by 10 or 15,” Hood said. “We played too hard.

“They beat us by 21 (51-32) at their place, and it was never even close the entire game. Here it’s a battle. If we just shoot decent, it’s a different outcome.”

Why did Pleasant Valley’s shooting matching dropping temperatures outside? Monday’s game marked Pleasant Valley’s first since the Raiders lost to Piedmont a week ago in the Calhoun County tournament’s second round.

“The kids are getting better,” Hood said. “They’re growing. You hate to lose, but as a coach, you see growth in a young team, and you’re encouraged by that.”

CEDAR BLUFF – Bucky Leek 2 2-2 7, Aden Green 2 0-0 4, Kade Browning 1 0-0 3, Dylan Kinard 1 0-2 2, Eli McFry 4 3-4 13, M.J. Adams 9 0-2 19, Austin Richardson 1 0-0 2, Caleb Tucker 2 0-2 5. Totals 22 5-12 55.
PLEASANT VALLEY – Jaden Sparks 0 0-0 0, Jesse Gannaway 4 0-0 10, Hunter Sparks 4 8-14 16, Bryce Freeman 0 0-1 0, Kolby Battles 4 3-6 11, Kyle Smith 2 2-2 8. Totals 14 13-23 45.

Cedar Bluff9152011– 55
Pleasant Valley148159 –45

3-point goals: Cedar Bluff 6 (Leek, Brown, Adams, McFry 2, Tucker), Pleasant Valley 4 (Smith 2, Gannaway 2). Total fouls: Cedar Bluff 14, Pleasant Valley 16. Officials: Wise, Huffman, Mallicoat.


Pleasant Valley 53, Cedar Bluff 46: The Raiders went on the attack after trailing 21-20 at halftime and hit 15 of 31 free throws in the second half.

Macey Roper hit nine of 19 free throws in the second half en route to a game-high 25 points, 12 in the fourth quarter. The Raiders also got nine points from Rebekah Gannaway. 

Gannaway and Kianna Hester each hit a 3-pointer as Pleasant Valley outscored Cedar Bluff 26-18 in the fourth-quarter.

“We just had to speed them up,” Pleasant Valley coach Colton Morris said. “We get in a lull like that. We slow down and can’t do anything, so that’s one reason why we started pressing there late just to try to get us going, more layups.”

Pleasant Valley’s girls (14-4) hope to force an area coin flip by beating Ranburne at home on Friday.

“This week is big to prepare us for the Ranburne game,” Roper said. “If we can beat them, we have a flip to host area. We just want to have a good start and lead up to it with wins.”

CEDAR BLUFF – Kylie Vadon 6 0-3 12, Janaya Higgins 2 1-3 5, Hayden Cannon 0 1-3 1, Caley Bruce 0 0-2 0, Kya Green 1 0-0 2, ZaNiya Kyle 3 1-6 8, Ciara Smith 2 2-2 6, Kindal Grace 1 0-0 3, Rylie Walker 3 0-0 9. Totals 18 5-19 46.
PLEASANT VALLEY – Macey Roper 6 13-23 25, Rebekah Gannaway 3 2-6 9, Kianna Hester 1 3-4 6, Laney Robinson 1 0-0 3, Lilly Robinson 1 1-2 3, Haylie Lee 1 2-4 4, Alexa Cranmer 0 3-4 3. Totals 13 24-43 53.

Cedar Bluff615718 – 46
Pleasant Valley713726 –53

3-point goals: Cedar Bluff 5 (Kyle, Grace, Walker 3), Pleasant Valley 3 (Gannaway, Hester, La. Robinson). Total fouls: Cedar Bluff 30, Pleasant Valley 17. Fouled Out: Vadon, Smith. Technical fouls: Vadon. Officials: Wise, Hoffman, Mallicoat.

Cover photo: Pleasant Valley’s Kolby Battles passes Jesse Gannaway as Cedar Bluffs M.J. Adams (15) and Dylan Kinard defend. (Photo by Krista Larkin)

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