E.A. Sports Today

County basketball

Ohatchee, Faith Christian boys, Weaver girls victorious on first day of 73rd annual Calhoun County basketball tournament.

2024 Calhoun County Tournament

At Pete Mathews Coliseum


Jan. 13
No. 11 Faith Christian 71, No. 14 Jacksonville Christian 58
No. 12 Ohatchee 59, No. 13 Wellborn 31
Jan. 15
No. 7 Weaver vs. No. 10 Pleasant Valley, 10:30 a.m.
No. 8 Saks vs. No. 9 Donoho, 1:30 p.m.
No. 6 Piedmont vs. Faith, 4:30 p.m.
No. 5 White Plains vs. Ohatchee, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16
No. 2 Anniston vs. Weaver-PV, 4:30 p.m.
No. 1 Oxford vs. Saks-Donoho, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17
No. 3 Jacksonville vs. Piedmont-Faith, 4:30 p.m.
No. 4 Alexandria vs. White Plains-Ohatchee, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 18
Semifinals, 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19
Championship, 8 p.m.


Jan. 13
No. 11 Weaver 53, No. 6 Saks 50
Jan. 15
No, 7 White Plains vs. No. 10 Ohatchee, 9 a.m.
No. 8 Jacksonville Christian vs. No. 9 Wellborn, noon
No. 4 Piedmont vs. No. 13 Pleasant Valley, 3 p.m.
No. 5 Alexandria vs. No. 12 Faith Christian, 6 p.m.
Jan. 16
No. 2 Oxford vs. White Plains-Ohatchee, 3 p.m.
No. 1 Anniston vs. JCA-Wellborn, 6 p.m.
Jan. 17
No. 3 Jacksonville vs. Weaver, 3 p.m.
Piedmont-PV vs. Alexandria-Faith, 6 p.m.
Jan. 18
Semifinals, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Jan. 19
Championship, 6 p.m.

Game updates

Weaver’s Erionna Richmond tries to advance the ball under pressure from Saks’ Madison Turner and Camrie Denham during Saturday’s action in the Calhoun County Tournament at Pete Mathews Coliseum. (Photo by Joe Medley)

End 1Q: Weaver leads Saks 17-14.
Halftime: Weaver leads Saks 28-22.
End 3Q: Saks leads Weaver 39-38.
Final: Weaver wins, 53-50

WEAVER 53, SAKS 50: Sophomore Aaliyah Marks showed on the county’s biggest stage, leading all scorers with 20 points as No. 11 seed Weaver scored the upset on No. 6 Saks and advanced to Wednesday’s 3 p.m. game against No. 3 Jacksonville.

Weaver led 28-22 at halftime, but Saks rallied and led 39-38 by the end of the third quarter.

Weaver got back out to a nine-point lead twice in the fourth quarter, only to see Saks quickly close within 52-47.

A couple of Marks’ runouts and layup finishes helped Weaver hold the Wildcats off.

“We just had to play hard, I guess,” Marks said. “We just had to keep getting after it and keep playing our game.”

Marks “played an excellent game,” Weaver coach Jamie Burns said. “She’s coming off of an injury, and she gets banged up out there because she’s so small, but she gets after it and attacks the basket when she has the basketball, and teams make it really hard for her.”

Weaver also got 13 points from Erionna Richmond and 10 points from D.J. Gibbs.

Saks center Madison Turner led he Wildcats with 17 points. Alonna Crews added 13 points with a 3-pointer, and Jakailynn Carter hit three threes en route to 11 points.

“Tough loss,” Saks coach Lamar Bradford said. “The key tonight was defensive intensity. That was the focus. We had to really lock down on defense.

“I think we turned a corner tonight. We lost, but we really won because I saw some things that we did well that we need to continue to do.”

Cover photo: Faith Christian’s Conner Richerzhagen shoots on his way to 21 points against Jacksonville Christian in Saturday’s Calhoun County tournament action in Pete Mathews Coliseum. (Photo by Joe Medley)

End 1Q
: Faith leads JCA 19-15. Conner Richerzhagen has 13 points with three 3-pointers.
Halftime: Faith leads 41-26.
End 3Q: Faith leads 60-42. Richerzhagen has 19 points, Carson Harris 11, Eli Robinson 10. JCA’s Noah Lee has 23 points, Jesse Gannaway 10.
Final: Faith wins, 71-58.

FAITH CHRISTIAN 71, WELLBORN 58: Conner Richerzhagen was on one in Faith’s county-tourney opener.

Jacksonville Christian’s Noah Lee goes up for two of his 32 points against Faith Christian on Saturday. (Photo by Joe Medley)

The freshmen scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the first quarter, including three 3-pointers, and No. 11 Faith led from the jump while advancing to face No. 6 Piedmont on Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Richerzhagen has been one of Faith’s top offensive options all season, but he scorched Pete Mathews Coliseum in the first quarter Saturday.

“I have no clue why,” he said. “I love playing here, and in warmups, I just felt good, so I just started lighting it up.”

Faith also got 15 points, including one 3-pointer, from Carson Harris and 12 points apiece from Eli Robinson and Parker Robertson.

The Lions led 41-26 at halftime.

“That first half, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Faith coach Corey Hughes said. “We came out and got the shots we wanted to get, and I thought we played really good defense.”

The top individual performance of the day went to JCA’s Noah Lee, who finished with 32 points and 15 rebounds. The quarterback with big college prospects showed out in basketball on the county’s biggest stage.

“The county tournament is such a fun thing,” he said. “I look forward to it every year. I’m not happy about the outcome, but it was fun to play out there.”

JCA also got 19 points and 10 rebounds from Jesse Gannaway, but depth continues to be a problem for a team with seven players on the roster.

“We’ve struggled all year to get five on the court that can play together,” long-time JCA coach Tommy Miller said. “We’re just weaker than normal this year, and I thought Faith played very well. They’ve played some big schools. They’ve played a good schedule. 

“Most times, it’s a rivalry game. It’s a good game, but this year, we’re not up to par of where they are.”

Ohatchee’s Alston Carroll draws a foul while driving the lane against Wellborn during Saturday’s action in the Calhoun County tournament at Pete Mathews Coliseum. (Photo by Joe Medley)

End 1Q
: Ohatchee leads Wellborn 17-5.
Halftime: Ohatchee leads Wellborn 27-13.
End 3Q: Ohatchee leads Wellborn 50-24.
Final: Colby Hester leads the way with 19 points, and Ohatchee wins, 59-31.

WELLBORN 59, OHATCHEE 31: Ohatchee’s Kyle Wilson era is half of a season old, but he’s achieved one significant accomplishment.

The first-year Ohatchee coach won his first Calhoun County tournament game.

Colby Hester led the way with 19 points, and No. 12 Ohatchee led No. 13 Wellborn from tip to buzzer while earning a shot at No. 5 White Plains on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s a big deal in Calhoun County,” Wilson said. “I’m really pleased. It’s a great venue. They do a really good job. It’s first class, so far, what I’ve seen and heard about.”

Wilson said the Calhoun County tournament compares to one he experienced while coaching in Rome, Ga.

“When had one in Rome that’s very similar to this when I was growing up, but we didn’t get to play at Jacksonville State,” he said. “From what I can tell, it’s really, really good competition, and I’m excited to be a part of it this year.”

Wilson, hired as Ohatchee’s coach after Bryant Ginn left for alma mater Alexandria, noted improvement for the Indians this season. Hester said Wilson is “all energy.”

“He takes responsibility, even though he shouldn’t, and he’s just a great coach all around,” Hester said. “He always gives us the hype we need, just a good leader all around.”

Ohatchee also got 14 points from Alston Carroll, 10 from Jake Roberson and nine from Luke Vinson.

Avery Odom led Wellborn with 18 points, 10 in the third quarter.

“I think the culture got us a little bit,” first-year Wellborn coach Todd Lumpkin said. “They come out and punched us in the mouth, and we just kind of shut down.

“All of the things that we’ve been working on, attacking, I think it’s pretty obvious that we can get to the hole and attack and hurt people. It’s just, are we going to punch through that wall?”

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