Eagles advance

Sumiton Christian tops Oak Grove heads to tournament final

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 12/29/17

SUMITON — After a sluggish first half, Sumiton Christian came out on a mission in the second half during their semifinal game at the Sumiton Christian Holiday Classic.

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Eagles advance

Sumiton Christian tops Oak Grove heads to tournament final

Posted

SUMITON — After a sluggish first half, Sumiton Christian came out on a mission in the second half during their semifinal game at the Sumiton Christian Holiday Classic.

The Eagles made up a nine-point halftime deficit behind a stellar defense and timely shooting to earn a 43-37 win over Oak Grove.

With the win, Sumiton Christian advances to today’s championship game set for 7:30 p.m. against Lindsay Lane (16-1), which defeated Thorsby 86-52 in Friday’s other semifinal matchup.

Against Oak Grove, the Eagles (10-3) trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter. J.C. Sheffield’s basket in the closing seconds cut the Tigers’ lead to 23-14 at the half.

Sumiton Christian began chipping away at the Tigers’ lead in the third quarter. Judson Laird connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter. His second long-range basket cut the Oak Grove lead to 32-27 with 45 seconds left. Isaiah Wright followed with a basket for the Eagles, and Oak Grove led 33-29 going into the final quarter.

Sumiton Christian’s defense owned the final eight minutes as the Eagles limited the Tigers to just one basket and two free throws. Oak Grove led 35-31 at the 5:10 mark, but Sumiton Christian closed the game on a 12-2 run.

The Eagles tied the game at 35-35 after a basket by Sharpston and a baseline drive from Wright that resulted in another score. Sumiton Christian took the lead for good on a Sharpston putback that made the score 37-35 at the 3:25 mark. Laird added to the lead with 1:56 remaining and Ethan Morgan sealed the win at the free throw line in the final 30 seconds.

Laird finished the game with 18 points, Sharpston added 11, Wright had seven and Morgan had five points — all in the fourth quarter.

In today’s championship game, the Eagles will play a Lindsay Lane team with one of the top players in the state. Sophomore guard Tommy Murr averages 41.4 points per game, along with 4.5 assists and 3.8 steals. Murr had 44 points in three quarters against Thorsby on Friday.

There will be four tournament games today.

Oakman plays Falkville in the seventh-place game at 3 p.m., Curry plays Westminster-Oak Mountain at 4:30 p.m. in the fifth-place game, Oak Grove plays Thorsby at 6 p.m. in the third-place game and the Eagles face Lindsay Lane at 7:30 p.m.

———

Curry 69, Falkville 49

Luke Smith connected on eight 3-pointers and Reid Bailey made five more as the Curry Yellow Jackets took down Falkville 69-49 in their consolation game of the Sumiton Christian Holiday Classic on Friday.

Curry trailed after the first quarter, 17-15, but Smith made three 3-pointers and had 10 points in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets took a 35-30 halftime lead. Curry took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 26-7 for a 61-37 lead.

Smith finished with 25 points, Bailey had 17 and RJ Richardson added 12. For Falkville, Alex Fowler had 13 points.

———

Westminster-Oak Mtn. 69, Oakman 60

Oakman jumped out to an 11-point lead after the first quarter, but couldn’t hold off Westminster-Oak Mountain as the Knights picked up a 69-60 win in their consolation game on Friday.

Oakman led 23-12 after one quarter, but Westminster cut the gap to 34-30 at the half and took a 53-50 lead into the final quarter.

For the Wildcats, Skylar Hice had 29 points, Denzel Chatman had nine and Christian Hubbard put in eight. For Westminster, Parker Mixon had 31 and Westen Padgett put in 19.

———

FSB Shootout

South Atlanta 68, No. 2 Cordova 64

South Atlanta, the top-ranked team in Georgia, rallied from a four-point, fourth-quarter deficit to edge Cordova 68-64 in the FSB Shootout in Rainsville on Friday.

Cordova led throughout the first three quarters. The Blue Devils were up 18-15 after the first quarter, 36-33 at the half and 56-55 after three quarters. For Cordova (11-5), Isaac Chatman had 29 points and 16 rebounds while Jayce Willingham had 26 points and 14 rebounds.

Cordova went 1-2 in the tournament.