Jacksonville Christian boys

Coach Tommy Miller’s Jacksonville Christian boys defeated visiting Alabama School for the Deaf 54-39 on basketball senior night Friday. The game was the fourth consecutive win for the Thunder and completed the regular season. JCA was to play Faith Christian on Monday in the No. 4 versus No. 5 game of the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament. The winner will play No. 1 Sacred Heart on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Miller Gym in Anniston in the semifinal round. The loser’s season ends.  

Against ASD, Chase Vinson and Kobe Messer each had a double-double for the Thunder. Vinson recorded 18 points and 15 rebounds. Messer had 12 points, 10 boards and two assists. Senior Elijah McCormack contributed eight points, two assists and two steals. Classmate Walker Messer had six points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. Eli Fair finished with five points and six rebounds. Nash Messer added five points, five rebounds and two assists.

Jacksonville Christian hosted Gaylesville on Thursday and won 63-43. Kobe Messer led four Thunder players who scored in double digits with 14 points and added 12 rebounds. Vinson had 13 points, Walker Messer 12 and Nash Messer 10.  

On Jan. 30, Georgia School for the Deaf came to Jacksonville Christian and the Thunder won 65-36. Johnny Alford led JCA in scoring with 12 points and added three rebounds. Walker Messer recorded 10 point, 16 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Vinson and Alex Martin each tallied nine points. Martin had three assists and three rebounds while Vinson added five boards. Jonathan Carter and seventh-grader Tyler Doggrell each scored six points. Doggrell had two rebounds and Carter had one assist. Kobe Messer finished with five points, seven rebounds and one assist.

McCormack, Chase Cobb and Nash Messer scored two points apiece. Cobb also had two steals, an assist and one rebound. Messer claimed six rebounds. McCormack added two boards, one steal and a team-best five assists. Tanner Wilson had four assists and three rebounds.     

The winning streak began on the road at Appalachian on Jan. 29. JCA won 61-56 after trailing 46-37 at the end of the third quarter. JCA’s Kobe Messer, Vinson, McCormack and Carter each had three quick fouls. The Thunder overcame the early foul problems with an outstanding 15-for-19 effort at the free throw line. Nash Messer led with a 10-for-11 night including 6-for-6 in the fourth quarter. Walker Messer was 3-for-3 at the line in the fourth.

Walker Messer led with 21 points. He netted four 3-pointers, all in second half. Nash Messer had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists. Kobe Messer scored 10 points and claimed four rebounds. Chase Vinson added eight points and 12 boards. McCormack had six points on two 3-pointers. One of McCormack’s treys cut Appalachian’s halftime lead to 29-26. Fair had four points and four rebounds. Carter grabbed five rebounds.

Jacksonville Christian girls

The Jacksonville Christian girls closed their regular-season basketball schedule at home Friday and defeated Alabama School for the Deaf 58-23 while recognizing the three seniors – Briah Cupp, Madi Sexton and Kourtney Wallace. Cupp led in scoring with 23 points. Mia Morales also scored in double figures with 10 points. Sidney Hancock tallied eight points, Kylie Cupp six, Sexton five points, Elizabeth Goss four and Rebekah Carter two. The win over ASD was the third in a row for the Thunder.

On Thursday, Jacksonville Christian edged visiting Gaylesville 55-53 in overtime. A basket by Hancock put the Thunder ahead 54-53 then Briah Cupp’s free throw made it 55-53. JCA coach Katy Bryant said Gaylesville had a shot to tie in the air when the final buzzer sounded but it rimmed out.  

Hancock led the Thunder with 19 points. Briah Cupp scored 16 points. Morales finished with seven points, Goss six, Kylie Cupp four and Carter three.

Bryant said the ability to handle the pressure of overtime and earn a win was a good sign for the future of her youthful team.

Jacksonville Christian began its winning streak with a 74-59 victory over Georgian School for the Deaf on Jan. 30.  

JCA was to play Faith Christian on Monday in the No. 4 versus No. 5 game of the Class 1A, Area 10 tournament in Spring Garden. The winner returns to Spring Garden today for a 5:30 p.m. meeting with No. 1 Spring Garden.

Pleasant Valley boys

The season will be on the line for the Pleasant Valley boys tonight when they travel to Piedmont to play Glencoe in the opening game of the Class 3A, Area 10 basketball tournament. Tonight’s winner returns to Piedmont on Friday to play the Area 10 regular-season champion Bulldogs in the tournament championship game. The winner is also guaranteed a sub-region game on Feb. 13.

The Yellow Jackets have beaten the Raiders twice on the season, most recently 70-60 at Glencoe on Jan. 23. However, the Raiders have played better of late, winning two of their final four games. After downing visiting Sand Rock on Jan. 26, Pleasant Valley defeated Faith Christian 62-51 on Jan. 29.

Senior Caden Turner led the Raiders in scoring against Faith with 23 points. Turner tallied nine of his team’s 15 first-quarter points to get Pleasant Valley off to a good start. Senior Ethan Johnson scored 14 points, nine in the fourth quarter. Connor Wolfe, Colby Gaines and Austin Johnson each scored six points. Freshman Josh Ballew had a 3-point basket in the first quarter for three points. Jake Malsy and Coleman Haynes each scored two points. Haynes was 2-for-2 at the free throw line.

The Raiders closed their regular season with a disappointing 53-48 loss at Gaston on Friday. Pleasant Valley managed just seven points in the first quarter. For the game, the Raiders were 9-for-20 at the free throw line. Turner scored 26 points against the Bulldogs but was the only Pleasant Valley player to reach double figures. Ethan Johnson finished with seven points. Haynes added six points. Malsy had five points. Gaines and Austin Johnson each scored two points.

Jacksonville High girls

Jacksonville’s girls play Cherokee County tonight in Hokes Bluff in the late game of the opening round of the Class 4A, Area 12 tournament. Hokes Bluff meets White Plains in the opener at 6 p.m. and Jacksonville’s contest will follow. Tonight’s winners meet Friday at 6 p.m. in the Area 12 tournament’s championship game. The winner and the runner-up advance to the sub-region round on Feb. 12.

The Golden Eagles completed their regular-season games at 18-6 with a 37-25 win at Ohatchee on Jan. 29. Jacksonville led 8-0 after one quarter and 20-4 at halftime.

Kyra Williams scored 16 points and dished out five assists to lead the Eagles. Aniya Jefferson contributed nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Destoni Edwards made her only 3-point shot of the game and scored five points. Kayla Broome scored four points and grabbed five rebounds. Malijah Goggins scored two points and added an assist. Maddie Hall had one point and a steal. Elizabeth Poe pulled down five rebounds and Essence Hutchinson added three boards.

Jacksonville High boys

As the No. 3 seed, the Jacksonville boys will play No. 2 Cherokee County at Hokes Bluff in the first round of the Class 4A, Area 12 basketball tournament on Feb. 7. Host Hokes Bluff meets No. 4 White Plains at 6 p.m. and Jacksonville’s game against Cherokee County follows immediately. The boys championship game will be Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Golden Eagles split two games with Cherokee County during the regular season. In early December, Jacksonville won 72-65 in Jacksonville. Cherokee County won on its court 87-67 a month ago. A large and supportive crowd would be helpful Wednesday. A win against the Warriors earns Jacksonville a place in the sub-region schedule on Feb. 13.