CCHS takes home boy’s county tournament title
Published 12:06 pm Sunday, January 8, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Chilton County High School came into the varsity boy’s 2023 Chilton County Basketball Tournament as the No. 1 seed and showed why powering to a 52-21 win over Maplesville High School in the finals on Jan. 7.
The Tigers pounced on Maplesville early in the game 8-0 before Kristopher Groom put in the first bucket for Maplesville. Eli Dale knocked down a 3-pointer later in the quarter, and Marshall Thornhill knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired in the opening quarter to put CCHS up 20-2. Groom was Maplesville’s leading scorer with six points.
“Our first quarter was unreal in both games, but we need to find a way to be more consistent throughout the game,” CCHS coach Austin Moncus said. “For us to be an elite team, which I think we can be, we need to play with that intensity and enthusiasm throughout the whole game.”
Latavion Floyd was the leading scorer for the Tigers posting 17 points and seven rebounds. Jakobe Worthy had nine points, three assists and three steals for CCHS. Jamon Dejarnett, who was named the most valuable player of the tournament, had eight points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals in the final.
The second quarter was a special time for everyone wearing orange and blue in the Jemison High School gym. Senior Jakeveon Bolding got his first minutes of the season when he checked into the ball game with five minutes left in the first half.
“He has been with me for four years, and for him to go through what he has gone through this year and to work so hard to have that moment was special,” Moncus said. “I do not think I have ever seen anyone get a standing ovation to go into the game. Everyone knows what he brings to the team, and when we get him back fully healthy, we can be really, really good.”
Dermarrion Caffey knocked down a 3-pointer in the second quarter to help CCHS to a 32-10 lead at halftime.
Maplesville coach Undra Rush had a simple message to his team at the break.
“At halftime, we told them ‘we are going to play every play with all we got,’” Rush said. “It was not about the score, it was about showing your teammates that you have their backs and playing till the end. That is a good team, and we are trying to get our program where they are, and I see some great things in our boys.”
CCHS, however, came out of halftime on a 10-3 run to extend its lead. Demarcus Riddick got into foul trouble for the Tigers in the first half, but the team’s energy seemed to pick back up in the second half when he was back on the floor.
“When he is on the court, it is different … he is the one that starts the runs,” Moncus said. “He sparks everything with his leadership.”
The Tigers were able to manage the final 16 minutes and cruise to the tournament final win.
Both schools have one game before they begin area play. CCHS’ next matchup is with Montgomery Academy on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. at home before its Jan. 12 area clash with Benjamin Russell High School at 7 p.m. at home as well.
“We have won three in a row now … and the Benjamin Russell game is a really big one,” Moncus said. “I do think these games here in the county tournament helped prepare us for that one.”
Maplesville’s next game is against Dallas County High School on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. at home. They too begin area play the following game on Jan. 10 against Notasulga High School at 6:30 p.m. at home.
2023 All-County Tournament Team
Zac Chapman, Isabella High School
Zion Smith, Verbena High School
Jayden Managan, Jemison High School
Tucker Bean, Jemison High School
Aiden Seely, Thorsby High School
Remington Taylor, Thorsby High School
Kristopher Groom, Maplesville High School
Jakavion Jackson, Maplesville High School
Aidan Abbott, Maplesville High School
Eli Dale, Chilton County High School
Jakobe Worthy, Chilton County High School
Latavion Floyd, Chilton County High School
Jamon Dejarnett, Chilton County High School (MVP)