Warhawks send message despite loss to Enterprise
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
For now, Enterprise Ozark probably remains as the team to beat in the Alabama Community College Conference.
At the same time the Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks are starting to issue a message they will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
JDCC battled Enterprise hard for 40 minutes before it finally succumbed 86-80 Monday in Brewton.
"I think we're right there with them. A bounce here or a play there and maybe we would have gotten them," JDCC coach Allen Gainer said.
Actually the Warhawks (6-9 overall, 1-1 in the ACCC) only need to look at the first eight minutes when they fell behind 24-6 as the cause of their downfall. During that time JDCC hit just two of eight shots with six turnovers.
"We knew this was a big game, but we came out tight," Gainer said.
Enterprise (11-3) built its 18-point first half lead through the strength of two three-pointers and an offensive rebound bucket by Mo James, three field goals and a free throw by Ransom Antoine and a three-pointer by Cliff Sims.
As poorly as JDCC played during those eight minutes, it played just as well over the next 10 minutes to pull even.
The main source of the Warhawks' rally was perimeter shooting, as five different JDCC players (Randall Burno, Norvell "Junior" Coleman, Greg Dickinson, Kenny Thompson and Brandon Montgomery) hit three-pointers in the first half.
The biggest sparks were Coleman and Burno, who finished the game with 28 and 19 points respectively. During the Warhawks' first half comeback, Coleman hit one three-pointer, scored off a lob pass and added another basket on an offensive rebound. Meanwhile Burno scored twice from inside and added a three-pointer from outside.
Dickinson capped off a 28-10 run by JDCC when he hit one of three free throw attempts with 2:39 left in the first half to tie the game at 34-34.
The Warhawks never were able to take that next step and grab the lead. In fact, Enterprise scored three straight hoops and closed out the first half with a 44-39 lead.
JDCC had a rough six-minute stretch early in the second half that proved to be another critical part of the game.
After Jeff Foster scored to bring the Warhawks within 46-43, James hit two three-pointers and added another hoop to spark Enterprise on a 14-4 run. Just like that Enterprise's cushion had grown to 60-47.
Just like they did in the first half, Coleman and Burno brought the Warhawks back once again.
Coleman had three buckets from in close, while Burno struck from outside with a three-pointer and another bucket from the wing. The latter of those shots narrowed Enterprise's lead to just 63-60 with eight minutes left.
JDCC's best chance to overtake Enterprise came with about four minutes left. A basket by Foster and a three-point play by Coleman trimmed the visitors' cushion to just 72-71.
The next two minutes proved critical. During that first minute Enterprise got a field goal from Nate Patterson and a three-pointer from Rashawn Duffy to extend its lead to 77-71.
Over the next minute JDCC had a turnover, an offensive foul and two missed shots. On the other end a free throw by Patterson and steal and layup by James put the lead at 80-71.
"Despite the loss, we've gotten a lot better as a team. One reason for our improvement is Burno. He has improved so much since early in the season. To go along with Junior and Greg, he makes us a much tougher team to defend," Gainer said.
The Warhawks travel to Hanceville Thursday for an ACCC game.
Enterprise 44 42 – 86
JDCC 39 41 – 80
ENTERPRISE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Patterson 8-0-4-20; Antoine 6-0-5-17; James 4-3-0-17; Snow 1-2-2-10; Moorer 2-1-2-9; Sims 0-2-0-6; Jackson 2-0-0-4; Puffy 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 23-9-13-86)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Coleman 9-1-7-28; Burno 4-3-2-19; Dickinson 5-2-1-17; Thompson 2-1-0-7; Foster 3-0-0-6; Montgomery 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 23-8-10-80)
The Warhawks missed out on an opportunity to reach the .500 mark Saturday when they dropped a 98-87 non-conference home decision to Gadsden State.
Fouls and free throws were a major cause to JDCC's downfall. Jeff Foster, Kenny Thompson and Randall Burno all fouled out, which left the Warhawks with just six players when the game ended.
The foul problems led to 46 free throws for Gadsen State, which connected on 35 of those attempts.
"We had to play with six players for several minutes and we didn't have a true point guard left when the game ended. That really hurt," Warhakws coach Allen Gainer said. "The free throws really hurt. We played a two-three zone. You shouldn't have the number of fouls we did when you play zone, but we did."
Gadsden State built a 46-43 half-time lead and then held off several charges by the Warhawks in the second half.
JDCC freshman Norvell "Junior" Coleman extended his career high once again to 30 points. That included a 14-for-16 performance from the free throw line.
"Junior played really well. What impressed me the most was his free throw shooting. That has been an area where he has had some struggles this season," Gainer said.
Greg Dickinson contributed 17 points, while Burno had 11.
Gadsden State 46 52 – 98
JDCC 43 44 – 87
GADSDEN STATE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sweatt 9-2-8-32; Richards 7-0-5-19; Wallace 3-1-8-17; Hoxie 5-0-3-13; Wilson 2-0-3-7; Harris 0-0-3-3; Holerbrook 0-0-3-3; Nance 0-0-2-2; Gray 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 27-3-35-98)
JDCC (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Coleman 8-0-14-30; Dickinson 3-2-5-17; Burno 1-3-0-11; Foster 2-0-5-9; Thompson 2-0-3-7; Montgomery 1-0-4-6; Drakeford 0-1-0-3; Madison 0-1-0-3; Hubbs 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 17-7-32-87)