Bulldogs fall to Calhoun in 2A regional semifinals
By JOSH FRYE
Despite strong performances from Ja’Daniel “Bubba” Nettles and Kedarieon “K.D.” Rabb, J.U. Blacksher’s Bulldogs saw their Cinderella season come to an end last Friday, February 14, just two games short of the big dance.
JUB fell by a 57-42 margin to Calhoun High in the AHSAA Class 2A Southwest Regional Semifinals at Alabama State University’s Dunn-Oliver Acadome in Montgomery.
Nettles led Blacksher with 16 points, 7 of them from the free-throw stripe. He had two three-point shots sail through the net and added eight rebounds.
Rabb scored 11 points, 4 from the foul line, hit two three-point shots and had two rebounds.
A solid performance throughout the first half seemed to favor the underdog Bulldogs.
But as the second half started, things started to deteriorate for JUB, and Calhoun’s J.D. Davison quickly stepped into the spotlight.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Davison, a four-star point guard prospect, has the ability to score from anywhere on the court. Despite the strong pressure the Bulldogs placed on him, Davison finished with 17 points, 14 boards, eight assists and nine blocked shots.
“He is a really good player,” JUB head coach Wes Sims said. “He was a presence felt, but my guys did a good job defensively. However, anytime we got into the lane, he was a challenge.”
Other players who contributed points for the Bulldogs were J.T. Tucker (9); Josh Peavy (3); Tucker Spence (2) and Deon Hill (1).
“I feel we had a good game,” Sims said. “We were a little off pace at times, but the guys fought back. Nettles and Rabb both had good games. They made it a point to deny Rabb, which is the key for any team when matching up against a good player.”
The Bulldogs punched their ticket to Montgomery by knocking out Cottage Hill last Tuesday, February 11. During that game, Tucker was the scoring leader with 15 points.
Rabb added 12 points, Spence had six, Nettles scored five, Deon Hill and Justin Heffington added three each, and Eli Smith had one.
With championship hopes and dreams killed for a second year in a row, the JUB team’s collective head is not dipping low.
With a lineup that included Nettles, Rabb, Tucker and Spence, the situation has changed, and every season sees a brighter light shine.
“We have no reason to hang our heads,” Sims said. “Despite not making it past Calhoun, I am proud of my team and the way they have played. They have fought and made our school proud. We have had a great year, and I am so proud.”
Calhoun will face Aliceville for the AHSAA Class 2A Southwest Regional title this Wednesday, February 19, at 4 p.m. at Alabama State.