Tigers’ teams tip off basketball season

Published 9:20 am Monday, November 27, 2023

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Chilton County High School has tipped off its 2023-2024 basketball season for both its girls and boys teams, and both are already deep into the action.

The Tigers’ boys team started its season on Nov. 10 against Prattville High School with a 64-47 win at home. Eli Dale led the team with 17 points, followed by 15 points and six rebounds from D.J. Caffey. Bradin Yates, a transfer CCHS picked up since last season, had a double-double with 12 points (6-for-6 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Marshall Thornhill grabbed 10 rebounds.

CCHS followed that up with a close 46-44 win over Pike Road High School on the road on Nov. 14. Trailing 40-33 entering the fourth quarter, they outscored Pike Road 13-4 to take the win. Yates had his second double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and eight different Tigers’ players scored in the win.

“(Yates) has played really well for us, and played a big part in us winning those first two games,” Austin Moncus, CCHS boys basketball head coach, said. “He is a good kid, and I did not know what to expect from him, I just told him to do what we do and play hard, and he has done really well for us.”

The Tigers first loss of the season came on Nov. 16 to Stanhope Elmore High School 64-62 at home. The Tigers were in a hole again entering the fourth quarter, this time 54-37, and outscored Stanhope Elmore 25-10 in the fourth quarter but the comeback fell just short.

Yates made it three-for-three in double-doubles with 19 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Caffey with 17 points and seven rebounds. Cayden Meank was in double figures with 13 points, and Dale added six assists.

CCHS dropped to .500 on Nov. 17 falling 67-36 at Montgomery Academy, and Yates’ fourth double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds was not enough. Caffey had eight points, and Justin Godwin grabbed 10 rebounds.

“It has been up and down, but one thing that has been consistent is that we play hard every game, and I have been proud of them for that,” Moncus said. “It is going to take some time for these guys to get to know each other … Mesh, and really start playing well, and thankfully we do not have to be playing our best until January. We have a good number of tough games still to play.”

The Tigers participated in the Pelham High School Turkey Classic tournament from Nov. 20-22 and opened the tournament against the host school Pelham, losing 73-40 on Nov. 20. Meank was the only Tiger in double figures with 11 points.

CCHS bounced back the next day taking down Shelby County High School 59-34, before dropping its third and final game of the tournament to Pell City High School 64-45 on Nov. 22.

The CCHS girls basketball team got its season started a bit sooner than the boys taking on Hueytown High School on Nov. 8, picking up the win 63-41. Iasia Anderson got her season started to the tune of 26 points going 9-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range. She added eight rebounds and six rebounds and steals each. Tyeshia Williams posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and added five rebounds and steals each. Ivyonna Varner posted 13 points and four rebounds as well.

“(Williams) is a big part of our plan because she can handle the basketball, and she gives us another option there beside Iasia,” CCHS girls basketball head coach Rickey Pulliam said. “She can bring the ball up, she can play in the post and she gives us something we did not have last year. She is a great all-around player.”

The Tigers moved on to Nov. 10 and lost 66-60 to Prattville. Ishunti Brown was the leading scorer with 17 points going 4-for-5 from the field and adding 12 rebounds. Anderson had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists and steals each, and Williams had her second double-double with 13 points and 21 rebounds.

“Right now, we are playing hard, and we are trying to build up depth in the team and find the pieces to put together so we are ready to go when we get down the stretch,” Pulliam said. “They played great against Prattville, a team who went to the final four last year, and right now we are playing a hard schedule and we are doing that for a purpose hoping it makes the girls better.”

CCHS fell on Nov. 14 on the road at Pike Road 57-41 as Anderson led the way with her first triple-double of the season with 16 points, 13 steals and 11 rebounds. She was 4-for-5 from 3-point range, and added seven assists. Williams and Brown combined for 27 rebounds for the Tigers.

CCHS got back in the win column on Nov. 16 with a 74-61 triumph over Stanhope Elmore. Anderson equaled her season-high with 26 points including a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point range. It was also her first quadruple-double adding 14 rebounds, 13 steals and 12 assists to her totals.

“Iasia is playing great, and a lot of teams are trying to key in on her now, but she has changed some things up becoming more of a point guard,” Pulliam said. “She is distributing the ball, and we are getting scoring from players like Ishunti Brown and Ivy Varner, and it is all about Iasia making the players around her better in the process.”

Williams had a triple-double of her own with 21 points, 19 rebounds and 12 steals.

Williams and Anderson were stymied in the Tigers next game against Montgomery Academy for a combined 10 points. Brown led all scorers with 11 points and had 11 rebounds, while Varner had 10 points and five steals.

CCHS lost on the road at Cullman High School on Nov. 21 54-39 to close out its schedule prior to Thanksgiving. Williams led all scorers with 12 points and added 13 rebounds. Varner posted 10 points, and Anderson grabbed 11 boards and nine steals.