Chilton Christian hoping third time is the charm against Tabernacle

Published 4:18 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Chilton Christian Academy varsity boys’ basketball team sits in the same position it did one year ago; in the quarterfinals of the Alabama Christian Athletics Association Class 2A state playoffs.

The Patriots face a familiar foe in Tabernacle who knocked them out of the playoffs last season and defeated CCA in both regular season matchups this season. CCA led Tabernacle at halftime of both matchups this year but could not hold the lead throughout the second half.

The Patriots and Torches face off for the third time on Feb. 24 at 7:15 p.m. at the Oxford Civic Center.

“They’re a really well coached team and have great players,” CCA coach Shanon Hamilton said. “It will definitely be a challenge to win, however, I do have confidence from our first two games, and hopefully, we make adjustments and play a more complete game [on Thursday.]”

While some things are the same for CCA, many things are different in 2022, too.

In a transition year, the Patriots lost six seniors from the team last year. They have moved to a seven-man bench this year to ensure the most experienced players are on the court.

With that, CCA powered to 12-14 record in the regular season and earned the four seed in the class 2A North playoffs. The Patriots hosted their first-round game against Pineview Christian on Feb. 21 and won 66-49 to advance to quarterfinals.

“We came into the season knowing we had a lot of work to do in order to be successful,” Hamilton said. “I think they’ve responded well.”

The Patriots are led by junior guard Donavon Norcross who brings a lot of experience to the floor for CCA. Hamilton described Norcross “as a player who plays with a lot of heart and determination.”

“He’s that glue guy on the team that holds everyone together, and he’s the leader of our team,” Hamilton said.

The two seniors on the team, big man Joseph Kasper and forward Joseph Gay, both have played key roles this year for CCA. Kasper is a force down low who plays great interior defense and denies easy opportunities at the goal.

Gay is the Patriots sixth man and brings a lot of shooting off the bench with him doing much of his scoring behind the 3-point line.

“Brings us a lot of energy off the bench,” Hamilton said.

Leading scorer and eighth grader Cayman Hamilton also plays a key part in the Patriots short rotation.