Clay-Chalkville beats Grissom, advances to regionals at JSU
By Gary Lloyd
How sweet it is.
Clay-Chalkville cruised to a 54-37 win over Grissom on Friday night in a Class 6A Northeast sub-regional state playoff game, earning a trip to Jacksonville State University on Wednesday. Only 16 Class 6A teams remain in the state playoffs.
Clay-Chalkville (24-6) will face No. 8 Mountain Brook (26-6) at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the semifinals of the Northeast regional. Mountain Brook slipped past Carver-Birmingham (17-15), 60-52 on Friday.
This is Clay-Chalkville’s first trip to Jacksonville State since 2001.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that we made history because the Clay-Chalkville program hasn’t been in a long time,” said senior guard Cory Judkins. “I’m glad to be part of this team and to break that curse. It’s a good feeling.”
Senior guard Marcus Baldwin led Clay-Chalkville with 14 points and six rebounds. Judkins scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds. Senior guard Cedric Barnes and sophomore point guard Hasan Abdullah each chipped in with nine points.
Baldwin smiled at the thought of a trip to JSU.
“It’s something I always wanted to accomplish since I first got here,” he said.
Struggling to score in the second quarter, Barnes, Abdullah and Judkins hit three 3-pointers in 1:12 to take a 23-16 lead into halftime.
“That was big,” said Clay-Chalkville head coach Daniel Foy.
Clay-Chalkville opened the third quarter on a 4-0 run to take a 27-16 lead. Grissom quickly cut that to 27-24 and trailed 31-29 with 2:11 to play in the third. That’s when things went south for Grissom.
Grissom managed just one basket the rest of the game, but did sink six free throws. Grissom’s lone field goal in the fourth quarter came with 2:02 to play when Reed McLelland converted on a layup.
Rob Daniels led Grissom with 11 points. Devorice Milbry scored eight and Aaron Christian chipped in with six.
Foy is proud of this group of players.
“They set goals, they talked about things they want to accomplish, and that’s definitely right up there at the top of the list of what they wanted to do,” he said.
The halls at Clay-Chalkville High School on Wednesday may be empty. Judkins said he expects the halls of Clay-Chalkville High School to be empty Wednesday.
“It will be,” Judkins. “A lot of people have been talking about it in the hallways. It’s going to be empty.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.