Patriots’ season ends in quarterfinals of ACCA playoffs

Published 9:17 am Friday, March 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Chilton Christian Academy’s varsity boy’s basketball ended one of its most successful seasons in program history falling in the quarterfinals of the Alabama Christian Athletic Association Division 2A state playoffs.

The Patriots fell 64-48 to Cornerstone Christian Academy on Feb. 23 in the quarterfinals. Cayman Hamilton had 21 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists to lead CCA.

“We had probably the best season a CCA varsity boy’s team has had in several years,” CCA coach Shanon Hamilton said. “This team achieved a couple of things that were important, and I would guess this is the first CCA varsity boy’s team to have a 10-game winning streak in probably a decade … Those are some of the tremendous accomplishments.”

CCA entered the state playoffs having won eight straight games and 11 of their last 13 dating back to Dec. 15. The Patriots earned the No. 3 seed in the South region and was matched up with Clay County Christian Academy in the sub-state round of the playoffs on Feb. 21.

The Patriots were playing their best basketball of the season going into the playoffs, and it showed against Clay County. Shanon Hamilton said his team put together their best offensive and defensive performances of the season in the game.

“I think that was really the culmination of us working on things all season long to get to that point,” Shanon Hamilton said.

Cayman Hamilton poured in 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting and 5-for-6 from beyond the 3-point line. Connor Bice had nine points and four rebounds, and Donovin Norcross had nine points, four rebounds and three assists.

In the quarterfinals, Shanon Hamilton thought CCA played well against Cornerstone. CCA had a 24-7 lead in the second quarter, but Cornerstone made some halftime adjustments and outscored CCA big in the third quarter. A deficit the Patriots could not overcome in the fourth quarter.

Norcross had 17 points and was 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Conor Bice and Mason McCary were big on the boards for CCA grabbing nine and seven rebounds, respectively. Norcross was named to the ACCA All-Tournament team to represent CCA.

The Patriots finished 18-10 on the season and showed great resolve getting to that point after starting the season 4-7. Shanon Hamilton said the transition his team made from the first couple weeks of the season to the end was remarkable.

“The team took those losses to heart and made a decision they were not going to lose like that going forward,” Shanon Hamilton said. “From that point, we did not lose games we should have won. We did lose some games, but to teams who wound up in the final four or the championship game. I am very proud that we consistently beat all the teams that we should beat every time we play them once those first couple weeks were over.”

CCA will lose four seniors from its team this season, a group that has been in the Patriots program since their eighth or ninth grade years.

“They are definitely going to be missed,” Shanon Hamilton said. “It was a really good group of seniors, and the way they finished the season and the way this team finished the season was due in large part to the effort, determination and leadership of this senior class this season.”