E.A. Sports Today

Mr. 3,000

Piedmont’s Odam becomes 14th player in state to surpass 3000-point plateau in Bulldogs’ OT win over White Plains

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Piedmont’s Alex Odam scored 41 points from nearly everywhere on the floor to become the 14th player in Alabama high school history to score 3,000 career points, but it took a layup from under the basket by one of his teammates at the overtime buzzer to make the night even more memorable.

On a night when Odam joined some exclusive company, Chance Murphy took a pass from his senior guard under the basket with less than a second to play in overtime and laid it in right before the horn to give the Bulldogs a 66-64 win over host White Plains.

With the 41 points Odam now has 3,025 for his career to place 14th on the AHSAA all-time scoring list, just nine points behind the next player on the ladder, ASD’s Deon Harris. He made 17 field goals (no 3-pointers) and was 7-of-8 from the foul line.

“It’s pretty special, obviously the best one yet,” Odam said. “How few people have ever done it has just made it a little better than rest of them (1,000 or 2,000), especially on a night like tonight. The way everything played out was kind of perfect.”

It’s been a good week for the Jacksonville State signee. In three games he scored 105 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and dealt 22 assists.

Odam needed 16 points to reach the milestone and got it on a mid-range fadeaway jumper 23 seconds into the third quarter. The game was stopped at that point to recognize the feat, with White Plains coach Chris Randall presenting the player with the specially monogrammed game ball.

“I was messing with him and told him I wasn’t taking it if had the White Plains logo on it,” Odam said with a laugh. “He made sure he wrote a white WP on it before he gave it to me. It was a pretty cool moment.”

“How many thousands of kids have played this game, for him to end up with 3,000 is quite an accomplishment,” Randall said. “Happy for him. Obviously, I hated he got it against us, hated we didn’t get the win. I would’ve loved for him to get the 3,000 and us get the win. I gave him the ball and said they won’t let me give you your diploma because I’m really glad you’re graduating, but I’ll just have to give you this ball, I’m glad it’s got WP on it. I told him I can’t wait to watch him. I’m sick of seeing him in (Piedmont) blue and gold, I’m ready to see him in (JSU) red and black.”

The last time Odam reached a scoring milestone, his team lost. He scored his 1,000th point as a freshman in a win over Pleasant Valley in January 2020 and scored his 2,000th point as a junior in a loss to Saks in December 2021.

“(Getting the win) made it a lot better,” he said. “I think it would have been pretty sweet to get it tonight, but it would have been nothing like it was if we would have ended up losing that game. The way it ended made it a whole lot better, the locker room better, everything.”

The Wildcats came close to spoiling it. Josh Wheeler had two shots at the end of regulation that could have given White Plains the win.

As it was, the teams went to overtime to settle the issue. The game-winning play was one the Bulldogs had run unsuccessfully twice before in Odam’s career – once at White Plains two years ago and once against Hanceville at Jacksonville State – but this time they got it to work.

The teams were looking at a second overtime when the Bulldogs got the ball under the White Plains goal with 3.2 seconds left. They got it Ish Bethel at about the volleyball line in the backcourt, Bethel got it to Odam and the Wildcats’ defense crashed on the Bulldogs’ star. Odam beat the double-team and found Murphy under the goal where the junior forward laid it in just before the buzzer sounded.

“We’ve had it for about three years,” Piedmont coach JoJo Odam said. “I wanted to run it last year. We practiced it all year long and had it in the bag if we ever needed it and never really had a chance. We pulled it out tonight and it worked. This is a Coach (Matt) Glover special, give him all the credit for that one. It was a good one. It got us a win.”

“We knew if (Odam) touched it he was getting in the lane and he would probably get to the free throw line,” Randall said. “We put two on him, we didn’t guard the inbounder. Had it been less than two seconds we would’ve put somebody on the inbounder because we through they would throw it real deep. Alex beat the double team and we helped up instead of helping across (and) it got the layup. You’ve got a great player who made a great play, I don’t know what else to say.”

“It’ll probably be the last time we run it,” Alex said. “Everybody’s seen it now.”

Murphy was the Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer in the game with seven points.

Luke Bussey, a former Piedmont player, hit six 3-pointers, including one that tied it late in regulation, and led White Plains with 24 points. Carter Johnson had 15 points, including two big three-point plays in overtime to keep the Wildcats in it.

PIEDMONT (19-4) – Alex Odam 17 8-7 41, Rollie Pinto 1 2-2 5, Ish Bethel 1 3-4 6, Colten Proctor 0 0-0 0, Luke Rhinehart 1 0-0 3, Chance Murphy 3 1-3 7, Rhett Alford 0 0-0 0, Cole Wilson 1 1-2 4. Totals 24 14-19 66.
WHITE PLAINS – Dylan Barksdale 1 0-0 2, Paul Laube 1 2-2 4, Z.J. Rosario 4 0-0 10, Silas Hines 0 0-0 0, Josh Wheeler 3 2-2 9, Coleman Ray 0 0-0 0, Daniel Williams 0 0-0 0, Collin Spivey 0 0-0 0, Luke Bussey 9 0-0 24, Carter Johnson 6 3-5 15. Totals 24 7-9 64.
Piedmont        15        13        16        10        12 –     66
White Plains  18         12         7         17        10 –     64
3-point goals: Piedmont 4 (Wilson, Rhinehart, Bethel, Pinto); White Plains 9 (Bussey 6, Wheeler, Rosario 2); Fouled out: Barksdale, Wheeler. Total fouls: Piedmont 12, White Plains 19.

A list of Alabama high school boys basketball players with 3,000 or more points in their careers; 17 players are on the girls all-time scoring list
Tommy MurrLindsay Lane57162014-20
Jeremy MonceauxParkway Christian45551998-02
Frankie SullivanR.C. Hatch42242003-08
John DrewJ.F. Shields40181969-72
Trendon WatfordMountain Brook
Shades Valley
Kameron WoodsPinson Valley
Lance WeemsClay County36601989-92
Billy RossClay County33831985-89
Landon LittyHomewood
Jefferson Christian
Henry HarrisGreene Co. Training School32201965-68
Richard GortneyBibb Graves32201968-72
Josh LangfordMadison Academy30902011-16
Deon HarrisAla. School for the Deaf30341983-87
Alex OdamPiedmont3025Active
Monceaux’ total does not reflect the 1,799 points he scored in Louisiana (1996-98); Source: AHSAA

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