By John William Gallagher
The Clay-Chalkville High School varsity boys’ basketball team beat Parkway Christian Academy Friday night, 53-26.
The starters got off to a rough start and left the court early leading 9-6, having regained the lead twice.
“A lot of it is our depth,” head coach Daniel Foy said. “We have a lot of good players
. It allows us to play the style we like to play. We can pressure a lot. We can rotate a lot of players in. The players we have are athletic. Our second group goes in and plays really well for extended periods of time. Players are getting a rest and when they go back in, they are rested. A lot of times other teams’ best players have been out there for a while and our players are coming in fresh.”
Senior center Brian Blackshear led Clay-Chalkville against Parkway Christian with 14 points. Junior guard Ronald Pressley Jr. scored 10.
The Cougars (14-3) lost at Gardendale on Thursday in a buzzer beater, 60-58. Although Clay-Chalkville had the lead much of the game, Gardendale was able to tip in a missed shot as time expired.
“The score is not an indicator of how well you’re playing,” Foy said. “Sometimes you don’t play well and still the score looks good. Sometimes you play a lot better and the score doesn’t look so good.”
Sophomore forward Sean Burrell led the Cougars with 15 points against Gardendale. Senior guard Marcus Baldwin scored 12 points, and sophomore guard Hasan Abdullah and senior guard Cory Judkins added 10 each.
“We are just playing as a team,” Baldwin said. “Everybody’s passing the ball around. Everybody’s touching the ball, getting good looks, taking time on their shots. We’re playing hard defense and hustling. Everybody on the bench can score. It’s not just one person.”
The Clay-Chalkville girls defeated Parkway Christian 57-9. Freshman Alexus Williamson led the Lady Cougars (17-2) with 13 points off the bench. Senior Larian Scott scored 10, and Kristian Hudson and Bria Bethea each had nine.
Hudson led the Lady Cougars with 17 points in a 49-36 win at Gardendale. Bethea had 12 points.
“We’ve been trying to preach a lot of defense,” said head coach Todd Carlile. “When you’re scoring, it’s easy to play defense. When you’re not scoring, the whole game is hard.”
The girls have 12 blowout wins so far this season and just two losses, to Gadsden City and Oneonta.
“The keys to success for us have been continuing to play like a team, continuing to play hard and never stop working,” Hudson said.