The Thanksgiving tournaments started good for the boys Monday at Scottsboro, but not so much for the girls at Gulf Shores.
Arab 75, Madison County 47
Finally, the Knights were clicking on all cylinders and earned a running clock in the fourth quarter in a relatively easy win.
“We played a lot better, and that happens sometimes after a game like we had at DAR,” said coach Justin Jonus.
The game at Grant was filled with frustration that resulted in technical fouls and a poor performance on the court. The game at Scottsboro started Monday with a pregame practice.
“We needed time so we spent some time together today,” Jonus said. “The kids were zoned in and ready to go. Our defense was much better, the guards attacked the rim and we won in rebounds.”
The Knights connected on eight 3-pointers and were good on 14 of 18 free throws. Caleb Isbell and Brooks Malone led the Knights in scoring with 15 points each, Logan Parker had 10, Trevor Miller nine and Darian Lusk had seven.
“Playing without Colby (ankle) may be the recipe for success later,” Jonus said. “It’s giving some other guys playing time and confidence that we’ll need at the end of the season.
“I was proud of Caleb tonight. He got the start and played great and Brooks had a good game. He or Blake (Kelley) one needs to have 15 plus for us every night.”
Arab’s boys teams continued play in the FNB Bank Thanksgiving Shootout until Wednesday. The Knights’ varsity teams begin area play at Guntersville on Tuesday.
“We want to be ready for that game and we’re going to get some good experience with Charles Henderson and Columbia. They’re both very good,” said Jonus.
Arab 44, Scottsboro 37
The Knights jumped out to an 11-2 lead early before leading at the half 15-11.
“We opened up really well but we let down a little bit and allowed them to get the momentum,” said coach Brad Kitchens.
The Knights stretched the lead back out to 12 at one point but the Wildcats kept getting back in the game.
“We let them hit a couple of 3’s and we didn’t shoot free throws well tonight,” Kitchens said.
Arab made only 14 of 30 at the line, uncommon for the team. But, the inside game was working for the Knights.
“We got a lot of high-low looks. James Reynoso and J B Bowman played really well and did a good job rebounding for us. They worked well together,” he said. Reynoso had 11 points, Bowman nine and Will Cavender had seven.
9TH GRADE BOYS
Arab 59, Section 21
Eight of nine players scored for the freshmen team, which led 30-17 at the half. Spencer Strickland had 13 points, Jonathon England had 12 and DaKota NeSmith had 11 for the Knights.
“It was one of our best games. We came in really focused and sometimes on a holiday week that’s hard to to do,” said coach Jonathan Embry.
Arab led from start to finish.
“We did a really good job with our press forcing turnovers and I was just really proud of everybody,” Embry said.
Gulf Shores 38, Arab 35
“We’re struggling to win right now and we let one get away that we shouldn’t have tonight,” said coach Jessica Thompson.
After being down 5-1 after a quarter, the Lady Knights woke up in the final frame, scoring 22 points including 12 with 1:40 to go.
“We didn’t show up to play until the last quarter. I hope it’s a lesson for the girls that it doesn’t matter who you play, if you don’t show up ready to play you won’t be successful,” Thompson said. “At the end of the day, all you can do is learn from it and not let it happen again.”
Liz Brodhage led Arab with 10 points followed by Tristen White with nine and Aspen Miller with seven.