Calera boys score 98 in sub regional

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Calera Eagles had 21 turnovers but still managed to score 98 points in a shootout win that sent them to the AHSAA southeast regional tournament yesterday.

The Eagles jumped out to a 22-8 lead over Beulah in last Friday’s sub-regional game at Calera High School.

&uot;We came out with a lot of energy and got out ahead,&uot; said Calera coach Robert Burdette. &uot;But they came back to make it 24-17 at the end of the first quarter.&uot;

Calera took a 45-37 lead into halftime and finished off Beulah in the second half, posting a final score of 98-70, despite turning the ball over 21 times and shooting only 12-of-31 from the free throw line.

Burdette said the performance could have been better for the Eagles, who average only 15 turnovers a game and shoot 67 percent from the free throw line.

&uot;If we shot 67 percent from the line and kept our turnovers down the score could have been up in the one-hundred and teens,&uot; Burdette said.

Junior George Drake, the Eagles’ leading scorer, posted 33 points in the Beulah game and picked up 12 rebounds.

C.J. Pearson added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Calera.

The win sent the Eagles to the class 2A southeast regional tournament at Troy State University. Calera was scheduled to play Wicksburg in the quarterfinals yesterday (results were unavailable at presstime).

The winner of that game will play Friday at 5:20 p.m. at Troy for a spot in the 2A Final Four at the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center.

Burdette said the Eagles will have to play sound basketball to stay alive in the unforgiving rounds of the state playoffs.

&uot;We just have to continue playing hard on the defensive end,&uot; Burdette said. &uot;I think if you can defend and rebound and shoot free throws you can win. And that’s not just for us, that’s the case for anybody right now.&uot;

Calera improved their record to 28-1 after last Friday’s win and has already claimed championships in the Shelby County and Area 7 tournaments