Chilton County looks to limit turnovers after defeat by Calera

Published 11:44 am Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Calera Eagles hung 82 point on Chilton County on Jan. 15, winning by 10 points in the process. (File)

The Calera Eagles hung 82 point on Chilton County on Jan. 15, winning by 10 points in the process. (File)

By AUSTIN FRANKLIN / Special to the Reporter

CALERA – In a duel of press defense, the Calera Eagles outlasted the Chilton County Tigers by a final score of 82-72.

Calera set the tone of the game early as it opened and maintained a full court press throughout the first quarter against Chilton County. Chilton County responded in kind as it matched Calera’s press with its own, resulting in a game with a litany of turnovers and quick whistles.

Both teams finished the first quarter with ten team fouls and lived on the free throw line throughout the early going as Calera led 26-19 at the end of one.

Calera managed to generate offensive looks before the half by exploiting Chilton County’s press, as Eagles players consistently managed to slip free down the court for a fast break look. With Calera’s lead extended, Chilton County began forcing passes and continued to turn the ball over.

The Eagles were committed to forcing the Tigers out of the paint. The Eagles double-teamed any Tiger in the paint and dared the Tigers to live on the three ball.

On the other end of the court Yatil Gant, who took advantage of Chilton County’s press and finished with a team high 16 points, led Calera. With Gant utilizing the paint and O.J. “Juice” Williams making the most of his touches, the Eagles took a 46-30 lead into the half.

In the second half Chilton County finally had some success from outside the arch, with Cade Hatch contributing five second half three pointers. Hatch would lead all scoring with 24 points.

With every shot that fell for the Tigers, the Eagles always had an answer as C.J. Smith came on in the second half and added 12 points of his own.

While the offense of Chilton County began to click in the second half, the defense was unable to force enough stops to allow the Tigers back into the game.

“We had a lack of focus, we might be a little fatigued at this point. We just couldn’t find a way to hang onto the ball tonight. Turnovers killed us tonight,” Coach Simmons said after the game.