Eagles, Jackets in Regionals at TSU

The Vincent Yellow Jackets are becoming very familiar with Troy State University.

They have been to Trojan Arena three straight years to play in the Regional tournament and are, in fact, the only team in the county to make it to the Regionals three consecutive seasons.

The Yellow Jackets (12-15) were scheduled to play Wicksburg (25-2) at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

Joining the Yellow Jackets in Troy are the Calera Eagles, following a region realignment in Class 2A. The Eagles made a trip to the Regionals at the University of South Alabama in Mobile a year ago before eventually finishing runners-up in the Final Four at the BJCC.

Head coach Bubba Livingston’s Yellow Jackets made it to the Regional tournament via a Sub-regional win over Beulah, 77-62.

James Oden paced the Jackets with a double-double, posting 20 points and 11 rebounds in the win.

Terrance Olds scored 18 points and Andre McKinney chipped in 15 for VHS. Jimmy Carter was the only other Vincent player in double figures with 11 points.

As for the Tuesday night Regional game, Livingston said he hoped his team’s speed would wear down Wicksburg.

&uot;They are 25-2, but they only play five players,&uot; Livingston said. &uot;If we can get them in foul trouble and use our speed to our advantage, we could come away with a win.&uot;

Robert Burdette’s Calera Eagles (28-3) were also slated to play Tuesday &045; against G.W. Long (25-6) at 5 p.m.

The Eagles advanced to the Regionals with an impressively easy 81-40 win over Randolph County in the Sub-regional game at Calera last week.

&uot;We played well at times, but not the entire night,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;Sometimes I think we play to the level of our competition and we tend to get a little sloppy. But at this point in the season, people don’t ask how you won, only if you won.&uot;

The Eagles will get a big boost at the Regionals in the form of the return of Dusty Downs.

Downs, a junior guard, has been nursing a sprained ankle over the last couple of weeks. Burdette said he thinks Downs is ready to return to play.

&uot;We could have played him at 80- percent as early as Childersburg, but we decided to hold out as long as we could in bringing him back,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;We’d rather have him almost completely healthy than risk him injuring it again.&uot;

George Drake posted his second consecutive 33-point game in the Sub-regional win over Randolph County.

Charlie Jones added a double-double in the win with 16 points and 12 rebounds. C.J. Pearson and Jake Garzarek scored nine and eight points, respectively.

Shelby County could be represented with two teams in the Regional championship at TSU Friday night with a Vincent and Calera win. The last time the two met was in the area championship game at Calera last week.

Calera cruised to a 98-68 win.

Drake scored 33 in the win. T.J. Green chipped in 20 and Trey Russell added 15 points. Jones was the only other Eagle in double figures with 13 points.

For the Yellow Jackets, McKinney led the way with 20 points and Ken Abrams added 12