The Arab Junior Knights had their hands full with back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday to begin the week. Three of the teams are back in action tonight (Thursday) hosting Guntersville. The seventh grade boys start at 4 p.m., followed by the seventh grade girls and eighth grade boys.
• 8TH GRADE BOYS
Arab 46, Priceville 24
The Knights had a subpar start with a 7-5 lead after a quarter before jumping out to a 24-10 lead at halftime.
“We came out flat and turned the ball over a couple of times to start the game. They were playing good defense, too,” said coach Jason Guger. “It was good to come out in the second quarter and balloon the lead up a little bit.
“We got some steals and were able to get a comfortable lead.”
Luke Martin led Arab with 25 points, Brandon Morris had nine and Dylan Kirkland six. Eleven players scored for the Knights.
Arab 39, Albertville 26
With a solid win from start to finish, Guger knows the season is young and there’s still plenty of work to do.
“With limited practice time after the football season you certainly can’t fault their effort,” he said. “We’ve gotten better defensively every game and that’s carrying us so far but offensively, we have way too many turnovers on that end of the court to have too much success.
“We’re very aggressive on defense but we’ve got to get better handling the ball.” Martin had 16 points and Zac Hallman seven for the Knights. Carter Kelly and Brandon Morris had five each and Payton Wilks had four.
• 7TH GRADE BOYS
Arab 39, Priceville 27
Leading 23-19 at the half, the Knights changed their strategy a bit in the second half out of necessity. Arab had five 3-pointers in the first half alone.
“That really helped us but I guess their coach noticed that and tried to take it away, but Bryson Trusley had 12 points in the fourth quarter alone,” Guger said. “So, it was a tale of two halves and we adjusted just fine. We took what they gave us and I thought the kids did a good job of sharing the ball.”
Guger was proud for his team.
“After losing by two with limited practice, I thought they did a good job of bouncing back,” he said.
Albertville 36, Arab 23
Not the best of nights for Arab but the competition may have had something to do with that.
“Albertville has a very athletic team,” Guger said. “They put a lot of pressure on us and we struggled with that at times. We have a lot to do but we can take a loss as long as we learn from it.”
Davis Kenney had 12 points and Chandler Moore had four.
• 8TH GRADE GIRLS
Priceville 30, Arab 20
Down 14-11 at the half, the Lady Knights were in this one all the way.
“They played with a lot of intensity tonight after getting those first-game nerves behind them,” said coach Donnie Weaver. “Really, it was closer than a 10-point game. It was a four-point game for a long time but they hit a few shots at the end to pull away.
“Priceville had a good year last year and came in with some experience, so I thought we played extremely well and were much more focused tonight.”
Tessa Monroe led the Knights with six points, Mollie Buck had five and Larkin Saint had four.
Albertville 33, Arab 22
The Lady Knights actually held an 11-9 lead at the half.
“We played extremely hard tonight but we let a few things hurt us,” Weaver said.
The coach saw plenty of negative things, but the overall picture was positive.
“We gave up some cheap baskets, we had some untimely turnovers and missed a few shots we usually make, but I can still see them improving from game to game,” Weaver said. “We’ve just got to stay focused on that.”
McKenna Tidmore had eight points and Saint had five.
• 7TH GRADE GIRLS
Arab 32, Priceville 12
It was all Arab in this one.
“With the seventh grade team, it seems to start with our defense,” Weaver said. “The more the intensity, the better we play.
“We got a lot of turnovers, made a lot of shots and a lot of girls got some playing time tonight.”
Lela Hipp had 10 points, Millie Lackey had seven, Halle McCrary had six and Jill Stapler five.
Albertville 38, Arab 22
Down 16-11 at the half, the Lady Knights struggled to get in their rhythm.
“I think we were still thinking about Monday night and how well we played,” said Weaver. “We were just not really ready from the opening jump ball. We were slow getting started and by the time we got things rolling, it was too late.”
Stapler led Arab with seven points, Lauren Lambert had six and Hipp five.