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Feels Like the First Time

Feels like first time

Calhoun County, AL – Tuesday boys: Oxford, Weaver score first wins of the season, Jacksonville still looking for theirs; Faith falls to Westbrook

Armane Burton (23) scores in the lane and gets fouled to give Weaver the lead with nine seconds to play in their game with Munford Tuesday night. On the cover, Bearcats coach Beau Winn draws up the play that got Burton the bucket. (Photos by Greg Warren)
Armane Burton (23) scores in the lane and gets fouled to give Weaver the lead with nine seconds to play in their game with Munford Tuesday night. On the cover, Bearcats coach Beau Winn draws up the play that got Burton the bucket. (Photos by Greg Warren)

TUESDAY’S BOYS GAMES
Gaston 80, Gaylesville 35
Glencoe 70, Section 40
Oxford 50, White Plains 39
Sand Rock 59, Gadsden City 56
Spain Park 69, Jacksonville 55
Weaver 42, Munford 39
Westbrook 58, Faith Christian 43

By Al Muskewitz

It’s always nice to win, but it’s even more significant to get a first win for a team that’s basically new to everything in the program. You can’t win a bunch if you don’t win the first.

This year’s Oxford team is a lot less experienced than ones coach Joel VanMeter has had in recent years, but it picked up its first win of the season Tuesday night, 50-39, on the road at White Plains.

“Regardless of what anybody says, a win gives you confidence,” VanMeter said. “A win lets you know whatever that guy is preaching actually does work. Sometimes they question that until you get that first win and once they figure out that it works they can build on it.

“We have a high-level player you can build around (Jaylen Alexander). We have a guy who is starting to make his mark (T.J. Allen). We have a guy who our goal is to develop him into a dominant force 12 feet and in (Jayden Lewis). And Brock Reaves is going to be a good player. That’s a core four. Jaylen and Jayden are the only two who have any experience and neither one of them were feature guy, so it’s new for them, and the other two, it’s completely new for.

“I’m unbelievably happy for them and encouraged and just ready to get better tomorrow.”

Allen led the Jackets with 17 points playing with a badly blistered right foot.

The Yellow Jackets (1-1) took control of the scoreboard in the physical game with a 14-4 run over the final four minutes of the second quarter. But they never locked up the victory until hitting six of eight free throws in the final minute of the game, another significant achievement for a young team.

“That was huge for a young team like this that hit 10 of 20 at Central-Phenix City and lost a three-point game,” VanMeter said.

White Plains’ Luke Bussey tied the game at 16 with a step-back 3 right before the Yellow Jackets went on their second-quarter run. The Wildcats got back within five, but they just couldn’t score enough points. Bussey was their leading scorer with 12 points. Josh Wheeler had 11.

“They made us take the shots they wanted us to take; their defensive pressure was really good,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “They switched every screen, so it made it hard to run any kind of motion offense. When you can switch every screen, that is a huge advantage.

“You can look at stats and say we didn’t shoot it good. No wonder we didn’t shoot it good because they guarded us that well. We didn’t knock down enough shots, but, boy, it wasn’t from of a lack of effort.”

OXFORD (1-1) – Jaylen Alexander 4 1-2 9, Caleb Sanders 1 1-2 4, Dashaun Callaway 2 2-2 7, T.J. Allen 6 3-5 17, Chase Truitt 0 0-0 0, Jordan Kelley 1 0-0 2, Brock Reaves 1 0-0 2, Jayden Lewis 2 6-6 10, Marcus Perry 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-17 50.
WHITE PLAINS (0-1) – Dylan Barksdale 2 0-1 4, Paul Laube 0 2-2 2, Z.J. Rosario 3 1-1 8, Silas Hines 0 0-0 0, Josh Wheeler 3 4-4 11, Coleman Ray 0 0-0 0, Daniel Williams 1 0-0 2, Ethan Turner 0 0-0 0, Luke Bussey 3 3-4 12, Carter Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 10-12 39.

Oxford 14 16 7 13–  60
White Plains 11 9 8 11 –  39

3-point goals: Oxford 3 (Callaway, Allen 2); White Plains 5 (Rosario, Wheeler, Bussey 3). Technical fouls: Alexander, Rosario. Fouled out: Rosario. Total fouls: Oxford 14, White Plains 17. Officials: Railey, Howell, Batey.

WEAVER 42, MUNFORD 39: Armane Burton knocked down a three-point play with 8.9 seconds to go and the Bearcats held their breath on a shot from just inside half-court to pick up their first victory of the season.

The Bearcats, who overcame another cold start and a seven-point halftime deficit with a big third quarter, got the ball in a tie game with 20 seconds to go. They worked the clock down to 10 seconds when coach Beau Winn drew up the inbounds play under the basket.

Tristan Brown got the ball to Burton, who made the layup underneath and got fouled. After Burton made the free throw, the Lions came back downcourt and put up a shot from midcourt at the buzzer that hit off the backboard.

“It was a good win for these boys and this program,” Winn said. “We’ve got to be able to handle adversity when we’re faced with it.

“We came out flat in the first quarter and even into the second, and that’s a testimony to Munford. They played great defense and it gave us fits the whole game. But we were able to rise against that adversity and pulled it out in the last second to win.

“I was so excited for them, but I told them we’ve got to stop waiting to the last seconds. Otherwise, they’re going to put me in an early grave.”

Burton finished with 13 points, 11 in the second half.

MUNFORD (0-1) – Demetrius Norwood 2 0-0 4, Sylvester Smith 3 2-3 9, Castleberry 2 0-2 4, Alex Petty 2 0-0 6, Lathan Stephens 1 3-7 6, B.J. Anderson 3 0-0 8, Javion White 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 5-12 39.
WEAVER (1-1) — Tristan Brown 2 1-2 6, Jeffrey Miles 1 0-2 3, Dawson Brooks 3 0-0 6, Dalton Homesley 1 0-0 3, Jackson Williams 2 2-4 7, Zack Garner 2 0-0 4, Armane Burton 6 1-2 13. Totals 17 4-10 42.

Munford 9 13 4 13 – 39
Weaver 3 12 14  13 –  42

3-point goals: Munford 6 (Smith, Petty 2, Stephens, Anderson 2); Weaver 4 (Brown, Miles, Homesley, Williams). Technical fouls: Burton, Williams. Fouled out: Williams. Total fouls: Munford 10, Weaver 14. Officials: Kelley, Jarrett, Stubbs.

SPAIN PARK 69, JACKSONVILLE 55: Spain Park checked all the boxes and handed the Golden Eagles their second straight loss to open the season.

The Jaguars were led by two 20-point scorers – Zackary Gray (24) and Sam Wright (20) – limited the Golden Eagles to just 39 shots and had twice as many rebounds. Wright had eight rebounds.

“They bullied us inside, killed us on the boards,” Golden Eagles coach Tres Buzan said. “We definitely played their game and not ours. We just didn’t do the little things we needed to do to win.”

John Broom and Caden Johnson led Jacksonville with 16 and 15 points, respectively. Cam Johnson added 11. Broom and Cam Johnson combined for seven of the Golden Eagles’ nine 3-pointers.

JACKSONVILLE (0-2) – John Broom 5-11 2-3 16, Caden Johnson 4-7 7-11 15, Cam Johnson 4-7 0-0 11, Ethan Duke 2-5 0-0 5, Jaliek Long 2-4 1-2 5, Devin Barksdale 1-5 0-1 3, Dee Prothro 0-0 0-0 0, Jaquan Ervin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-39 10-17 55.
SPAIN PARK (3-0) – Zackary Gray 9-16 4-5 24, Sam Wright 7-15 6-9 20, Korbin Long 5-11 1-2 11, Jared Smith 2-4 2-2 6, Chapman Blevins 2-3 0-0 4, Joshua Fonbah 2-2 0-0 4, Terry Lamar 0-3 0-0 0, Nicholas Richardson 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson Bradley 0-1 0-0 0, Evan Houser 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-56 13-18 69.

Jacksonville 14 10 18 13 – 55
Spain Park 23 14 17 15 – 69

3-point goals: Jacksonville 9-23 (Broom 4-7, Cd. Johnson 0-2, Cm. Johnson 3-6, Duke 1-1, Long 0-2, Barksdale 1-5); Spain Park 2-8 (Gray 2-4, Long 0-2, Blevins 0-1, Bradley 0-1). Rebounds: Jacksonville 20 (Cd. Johnson ); Spain Park 41 (Smith 9, Wright 8). Fouled out: Smith. Total fouls: Jacksonville 15, Spain Park 17.

WESTBROOK 58, FAITH CHRISTIAN 43: The Warriors hit four of their seven 3-pointers in the third quarter to pull back ahead after Faith rallied from 10 down in the first quarter to make it a two-point game at halftime. Yashua Arevalo led the Lions with 22 points. Thomas Curlee had 16.

WESTBROOK (2-0) – Cameron White 3 2-4 10, Steven Barnes 1 0-0 2, Cooper Greer 4 0-1 11, John Gilchrist 2 1-2 5, Keaton Bean 0 0-0 0, Eli Edge 0 2-2 2, Brady Carden 1 2-3 4, Cam Carden 3 0-0 7, Cole Potter 0 0-0 0, Ben Morrison 1 0-0 2, Others 4 0-0 11. Totals 19 7-12 58
FAITH CHRISTIAN (0-1) – Conner Richerzhagen 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bell 1 1-1 3, Eli Robinson 1 0-0 2, Yashua Arevalo 9 3-7 22, Thomas Curlee 6 3-4 16, Joseph Carroll 0 0-0 0, Carson Limbaugh 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 7-12 43.

Westbrook 15 10 21 12 – 58
Faith Christian 5 18 12 8   – 43

3-point goals: Westbrook 7 (White 2, Greer, C. Carden, Others 3). Fouled out: Robinson. Total fouls: Westbrook 21, Faith 21. Officials: Mallicoat, Pratt, McCord.

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