Calera scores 100 to clinch spot in Sub-Regionals

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

CALERA – The Calera Eagles basketball team had made easy work of Jemison in their two previous matchups during the 2017-18 season, but on Tuesday, Feb. 6, much more was on the line as the season was on the line.

There was no doubting the Eagles in the game, however, as they posted 100 points in a 100-46 victory to clinch a spot in the area tournament championship game as well as a spot in the Sub-Regional round of the playoffs.

Calera, now 25-4 on the season, has won 24 of its last 25 games since starting the season 1-3. Their lone loss in that time span was to the 6A No. 2 Helena Huskies as the Eagles continue to look like a dominant state championship contender.

The Eagles got off to an incredibly hot start by posting an unheard of 30 points in eight minutes of action.

Calera’s almost perfect first quarter featured four players with four points or more, two 3-pointers and an 8-11 mark at the free throw line. C.J. Smith with eight points and Cornelius Brown IV with seven points played a big part in the successful start.

On the defensive end, the Eagles gave up three 3-pointers but just 11 total points in the quarter as they carried a 19-point lead into the second period.

That advantage more than doubled in the second quarter as Calera clamped down defensively and continued pouring in the points offensively.

The Eagles posted 24 points in the quarter thanks to eight from Brown, who hit two 3-pointers in the period, and six from T.J. Millin.

While Calera made nine baskets, Jemison was only able to get four made shots in the quarter for eight points. At the half, the Eagles had extended their advantage to 54-19.

While Jemison’s offense came out shooting a tad bit better in the second half, Calera’s inconceivable offensive performance continued to wow the fans.

The Eagles posted 30 points for the second quarter of the game, something that is rare enough to accomplish in one quarter. The continued excellence was in large part due to Millin’s hot hand who added 10 more points in the third quarter to give him his total for the game at 21.

With an 84-32 lead heading into the final quarter, Calera’s goal became getting to 100 points, but with their bench players in the game.

Thanks to 16 combined points from Derrick Edwards, Duke Chambers, Jaylon Johnson and Markell Kelley, the Eagles were able to attain that goal thanks to strong play off the bench.

It led to the final score of 100-45 and a spot in the Sub-Regional round of the playoffs as well as the area tournament championship.

Millin had the game high with his 21 points, while Smith added 16 points and Brown added 13 points. In all, Calera got points from 11 different players in the win.

The Eagles will host the area championship game on Friday night at 7 p.m. after the girls play in the title game just before.