Calera sees impressive season end

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CALERA – An impressive season for the Calera Eagles’ boys basketball team came to an end on Tuesday, Feb. 14 after a tough Sub-Regional loss to Sumter Central at home.

A dominant performance by the Jaguars in the second and third quarter, thanks in large part to nine made 3-pointers, was responsible for them running away with the game, 62-47, to continue their season and put an end to Calera’s.

In the first quarter, the Eagles held their own putting up 11 points behind four different scorers. Sumter only had three guys score in the quarter, but because they hit three 3-point baskets in the period they held a 14-11 advantage after one.

Jacorry Turnipseed had a nice first quarter for the Jags hitting two of those 3-pointers and posting nine of his 15 points in the game.

The second quarter is where things started to get away from the Eagles. Calera used four different scorers for the second straight period, but only hit five field goals to put up 11 points. Sumter on the other hand had six different players score in the quarter hitting nine field goals including three more from beyond the arc.

They put up 22 points in the quarter to extend their lead to 14 at the halftime break.

Trailing 36-22 at the start of the third quarter, Calera needed a strong start to climb back in the game, but they got the opposite. Instead they hit just two field goals and were held to just seven points as the Jaguars defense clamped down.

On the opposite end, Sumter hit seven more field goals in the period and posted 17 points to really put things out of reach at 53-29. Ladarius Carter was a big reason why the Jags were able to have such high offensive production in the two-quarter span where they put up a combined 39 points.

Carter hit four 3-pointers and six field goals in the second and third quarter for 16 of his game-high 22 points. He was an offensive problem for the Eagles as he helped Sumter jump up by 24 points heading to the final quarter of play.

Calera tried to claw back into it in the fourth as they posted their best offensive quarter of the game with 18, but the 24-point deficit proved too much to overcome for the Eagles.

Three players did score in double figures for Calera, but none had standout games. Jacob Smith had 13 points, eight of which came in the final quarter. Yatil Gant and CJ Smith contributed 11 apiece.

Sumter had nine players score in the game and were led by Carter’s 22 points. Turnipseed was the only other double-digit scorer for the Jags with his 15 points.

Calera finished the season at 21-11 and went 7-1 against area opponents. They are definitely headed in the right direction under head coach George Drake.