Piedmont falls to Alexandria in tournament
by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star
Jan 22, 2014 | 526 views |  0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The 63rd annual Calhoun County basketball tournament began and ended on Saturday for the Piedmont boys. It took two overtimes but Alexandria eventually outlasted Piedmont 78-77. The Bulldogs (11-10) will have a full week of practice time before Ashville comes to Piedmont on January 27 and Cherokee County arrives at the Piedmont gym the next night.

In the loss to Alexandria, Caleb Adams and Denard Spears each scored 20 points. Adams had five 3-point baskets for the game. His final trey cut Alexandria’s lead to 78-77 with about 12 seconds to play in the second overtime. After a Piedmont timeout with 11 seconds to go, an Alexandria player missed two free throws but the Bulldogs were able to get off only a desperation shot at the buzzer. Adams also had five rebounds and three assists.

Spears added four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Nine of his points came in the first quarter as Piedmont took a 20-10 lead.

Taylor Hayes scored 11 points. His driving basket with 1:25 to play in the first overtime tied the game 70-70. From there, neither team scored the rest of the first extra period. Piedmont got a held ball possession with 17.7 seconds left in the first OT but didn’t get the shot the Bulldogs wanted then either.

Dreek Thompson had eight points and six rebounds. Thompson’s points included two 3-pointers – one in the first overtime – and a 2-for-2 night at the foul line. Austin Brazier had seven points and was 2-for-2 at the line in the second overtime. Darnell Jackson finished with five points and six rebounds. He netted a trey in the first quarter and both his free throw attempts in the first overtime. Exavyer Jackson scored four points in Piedmont’s first-quarter surge. Ty Sparks had two points and four assists.

Piedmont had beaten White Plains at home the night before 60-40 after opening the game without a point for more than three minutes. With two seconds left in the first quarter, Easton Kirk grabbed an offensive rebound and fed Tyler Lusk for a basket that put the Bulldogs up 14-13. Piedmont went on a 12-0 run in the final three minutes of the second quarter as Adams, Thompson and Spears netted treys and Spears put together an old-fashioned three-point play after Thompson’s steal. At the half, Piedmont led 27-19.

Darnell Jackson had an offensive rebound and a bucket as the third quarter closed and the Bulldogs led 45-33 with one quarter to play. Brazier’s trey with 4:21 to go gave Piedmont its largest lead of the contest at 57-36. White Plains got as close as 57-40 before Kirk’s triple set the final score.

Spears with 15 points and Thompson with 10 were the only Bulldogs in double figures but eight others contributed points. Brazier scored nine, Darnell Jackson seven and Adams six. Lusk, Kirk and Bayley Blanchard each scored three points. Hayes and Exavyer Jackson had two points apiece. Brazier led in rebounds with six and blocked two shots. Sparks, Blanchard, Lusk, Thompson and Spears had three rebounds apiece. Spears had five assists while Kirk, Blanchard and Sparks added two each. Lusk and Spears each made two steals.

On Thursday of last week, Saks defeated Piedmont in Piedmont 57-56 on a 3-point shot at the buzzer after Spears’ trey put the Bulldogs ahead 56-54 with 15 seconds to go. Thompson had 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Spears scored 17 points. Darnell Jackson had nine points, Neonta Alexander five points, Exavyer Jackson four points and Sparks two points.

On January 14, Piedmont hosted Wellborn and doubled up on the Panthers 82-41. Spears scored 18, Hayes 13 and Adams 11 in the rout. Sparks and Brazier each netted eight points. Lusk scored seven points. Thompson and Kirk had five points apiece. Exavyer Jackson had a second quarter 3-point basket. Darnell Jackson and Alexander had two points apiece.
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Piedmont falls to Alexandria in tournament by Rip Donovan
Special to The Star

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