Vincent wins 2 at Anniston Star Classic

Published 11:48 am Monday, December 31, 2018

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ANNISTON – The Vincent Yellow Jackets have faced a difficult schedule early on this season and have been trying to get their feet under them, but thanks to two wins at the Anniston Star Classic between Dec. 28 and 29, the Jackets will head into the new year with an even 7-7 record overall.

While they lost to Weaver 60-52 to open the tournament, Vincent bounced back with a 55-47 win against Saks and a 53-30 win against Randolph County to close the tourney with two straight wins.

A big reason for the win against Saks was the contribution of eight different players, including five of which had seven points or more.

Vincent was able to jump out to a strong 16-11 lead in the opening period behind a strong shooting percentage of 53.8 percent making seven of 13 field goals in the quarter.

At one point in the second period, the Yellow Jackets were able to extend their lead to 10 points at 25-15, but Saks bounced back with a strong answer ending the quarter on an 11-3 run.

Despite the strong run and outscoring Vincent 15-12 in the quarter, it wasn’t enough to overtake the lead as the Yellow Jackets held a slim 28-26 advantage at the break.

Having stolen away some momentum, Saks came out of the locker room and quickly cut the deficit to one point at 32-32, which led to a tight back-and-forth battle near the end of the quarter.

Trailing 34-33, Saks knocked down a big 3-pointer to take its first lead of the game at 36-34, and extended that lead to 39-35 shortly after, but Vincent had a huge response to end the quarter.

The Jackets ended the period on a 6-0 run to take a 41-39 lead and steal all of the momentum back heading to the final quarter.

In the final frame, Vincent was able to play from ahead and eventually extended the lead back to nine points at 50-41.

Saks was never able to overcome that deficit, as the Yellow Jackets went 6-9 from the free throw line in the final period to close the game out with a 55-47 victory.

Jackson McGinnis led Vincent with a double-double performance featuring 12 points and 11 rebounds, while also adding three assists, two steals and two blocks. Ryshod Keith also stepped up and posted 10 points with five rebounds. Malik Hamilton had nine points and six rebounds, Chris Hardie had eight points and six rebounds and Tae McGregor had seven points and four rebounds.

That was the first of two straight wins in the tournament, but was the game that set the tone for a dominant 53-30 victory against Randolph County on the final day of play.