Chambers boys extend win streak to nine games

The red hot Chambers Rebels continued their early season tear, improving to 9-0 after two big wins over Lyman Ward and South Montgomery County Academy late last week. CA is averaging 74 points per game during their win streak and their closest win was by 12 points. Their average margin of victory through nine games is 27.5 points.

“We’re constantly improving,” CA coach Jason Allen said about his team’s impressive start.

The Rebels dispatched Lyman Ward at home on Monday of last week then did it again on the road Thursday in a 67-41 win. The tone was set right from the start when Chambers reeled off an 18-4 run to open the game.

They let off the gas a bit in the second quarter and only led by 11 at the half. But in the third they turned back up the pressure taking a 43-24 advantage into the fourth quarter. Demetrius Lemon had a monster game, with 24 points, including 13 in the second half. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Quadarius Tinsley finished with 12 points, including three three-pointers in the first quarter.

Chambers’ win over SMCA on Friday was simply dominating as the Rebels nearly broke the century mark in a 92-51 blowout.

Allen praised the play of Lemon, who finished with a double-double with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

Lemon scored 16 of those points in the first half and helped CA set the pace for the night. After a somewhat modest first quarter in which they only scored 18 points, the Rebels caught fire and scored 32 in the second to get a 25-point halftime lead.
The game was never close in the second half.

Aside from Lemon, Earnest Swanson had a solid performance in just his third game back from injury. He had 15 points and six rebounds. Austin Harmon pulled down eight rebounds and scored eight points and Ben Wilkerson finished with nine points.

The Rebels have a long layoff before their next contest, which will come after Christmas. They will participate in Lakeside’s Shoemaker/Ward Holiday Invitational Dec. 27-28 in Eufaula. CA will open the tournament on the 27th at 4 pm against the winner of Ashford and Terrell Academy. They will return to regular season action on Jan. 3 when they head back to Eufaula to face Lakeside.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

December 17, 2013 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Burks leaving LaFayette to become LaGrange head coach

Dialleo Burks is leaving LaFayette High after just one season to become the coach at LaGrange High School.

Dialleo Burks is leaving LaFayette High after just one season to become the coach at LaGrange High School.

After just one season, Dialleo Burks is leaving LaFayette High School. Burks was named head football coach and Athletic Director of LHS in February this year, but last Thursday he was officially introduced as the new head coach at LaGrange High School in Georgia. Burks is a 1992 graduate of LaGrange, and played on their 1991 state championship team.

Prior to accepting his first head coaching job at LaFayette, Burks had served two years on the LaGrange staff under Donnie Branch, the man he is replacing. Previously he was an assistant on the AFL’s Georgia Force, at LaGrange College and at high schools in North Carolina and Lilburn, Georgia.

Burks replaced Steve Coker when he accepted the LaFayette job. He inherited a young team and the Bulldogs finished with a 2-8 record. They defeated Horseshoe Bend in week six of the season and topped Bullock County in the season finale.

Burks had applied for the LaGrange job several weeks ago and was approved by the Troup County Board of Education at their meeting last week.

“It’s something that I’ve longed for, I’ve dreamed of for a very long time,” Burks told the LaGrange News. “Just to have this opportunity, to be the head coach of LaGrange High School, words can’t describe it. I’m very happy. My family, we’re just happy for the opportunity to come back home.”

Burks said his time at LaFayette was very beneficial. “That opportunity (at LaFayette) allowed me to go forth and sharpen those skills as far as scheduling, managing staff, maintaining facilities, and also the administrative policies and procedures,” he said.

“Certainly we wish him the best of luck and appreciate what he did with our young men this year,” Chambers County Board of Education Superintendent Kelli Hodge said. “He instilled a great deal of character and leadership in the players and we are certainly going to miss him.”

Dr. Hodge said Friday that the Board had not yet begun advertising to fill the position, which will be for the head football coach as well as Athletic Director. Hodge said that she and LHS Principal Montray Thompson should begin the interview process in January and hope to have the position filled by February, in time for the start of spring training.

Hodge also said that Burks would stay on staff at LaFayette High until the end of the school year.

LaFayette easily dispatches Horseshoe Bend

Trevond Barnes puts up a shot over a Horseshoe Bend defender.

Trevond Barnes puts up a shot over a Horseshoe Bend defender.

LaFayette High’s boys improved to 4-0 on the season with an easy win over Horseshoe Bend at home last week. The win moved the LHS to 1-0 in Area 9 play.

LaFayette outmatched the Generals in every phase of the game and it didn’t hurt that the Bulldogs were red-hot from the floor. They scored the first 13 points of the game and never looked back in a 52-25 win.

What started as a 13-0 run in the first four minuets turned into a 28-3 romp in the first quarter. The Dogs ended the quarter with four three-pointers in a row.

They hit their fifth in a row to start the second quarter and with two minutes to play in the half, the Bulldogs were up 36-5. Horseshoe Bend responded with two buckets, but Jatarvious Whitlow drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give LHS a 41-9 halftime lead.

LaFayette’s starting five didn’t see the floor for the rest of the night as Coach Obadiah Threadgill went three-deep on the bench for pretty much the rest of the night.

“The kids have been putting in a lot of work and if we shoot well, we’re really hard to beat,” Threadgill says. “We become a team that is pretty hard to stop when shots go.”

Whitlow had his best game of the season scoring all of his 14 points in the first half.

The Dogs will travel to Tuskegee to face Booker T. Washington on Saturday then host Smiths Station next Tuesday.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

December 11, 2013 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Rebels pound Lakeside, LWMA

Chambers' Jay Tinsley lays the ball in during the Rebels'  win over Lyman Ward Monday.

Chambers’ Jay Tinsley lays the ball in during the Rebels’ win over Lyman Ward Monday.

The Chambers Rebels won their fifth consecutive game last week by defeating Lakeside and then picked up their sixth win on Monday against Lyman Ward to remain undefeated on the year.

The Rebels made a statement to the rest of Class 1A in the 77-54 comeback win over Lakeside.

“I was very pleased with how well we played in the second half,” CA Coach Jason Allen said. “We handled adversity well and didn’t panic. The guys executed and got back in it. It was a good test for us.”

As they have made a habit of over the last few games, the Rebels once again started slow against the Chiefs. They scored just 12 point in the first quarter and found themselves down by nine heading to the second. Facing likely their toughest competition to date, CA responded and outscored Lakeside 20-8 in the second quarter to take a 32-29 halftime advantage.

The Rebels erupted for 22 points in the third quarter and took a commanding 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. One big reason for CA’s surge was the play of Demetrius Lemon and Quadarius Tinsley. Lemon scored 12 of his game high 21 points in the second half, while Tinsley scored 11 of his 19 in the second half.

Chambers continued the onslaught in the fourth quarter scoring 23 points to seal a 23-point win.

Chambers kept rolling on Monday against Lyman Ward, defeating the Rangers in LaFayette 70-50. The game was never really that close, as CA led throughout.

They jumped out to a 17-7 lead, then erupted on a 21-6 run midway through the second quarter. At halftime, the Rebels led 41-19. They stayed hot in the third quarter and built a 30-point lead heading to the fourth. The Rangers made up some ground over the final eight minutes with CA’s starters out, but it didn’t make much of a difference.

Quadarius Tinsley finishing with a team-high 13 points.

The Rebels are scheduled for a rematch with the Rangers on Thursday in Camp Hill and then they will host South Montgomery County Academy on Friday in LaFayette.

CA’s next game isn’t until Dec. 20 when they are set to participate in the Cornerstone Holiday Tournament in Columbiana.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

LaFayette takes Tip-Off Tournament Title

It’s the kind of start LaFayette High Coach Obadiah Threadgill was hoping for. Coming off a Class 2A runner-up finish last season, the coach wanted his team to pick up where they left off, even though some key members had graduated. They have made him proud after a 4-0 start and a first place finish in the annual LaFayette Tip-off Tournament.

“We could very well be 1-2 right now,” he says. “But we’ve gotten some breaks and stepped up when it counted. This team is a poised and more relaxed team.”

Tyric Davis goes up for a basket in the Dogs thrilling win over Valley.

Tyric Davis goes up for a basket in the Dogs thrilling win over Valley.

The Bulldogs opening slate last week included a win over Booker W. Washington on Tuesday, a win over Notasulga in the first round of the Tip-off Tournament on Wednesday then a thrilling win over Valley in the tournament championship on Friday. The Bulldogs defeated Area 9 rival Horseshoe Bend on Tuesday 52-25.

In the season opener against Booker T. Washington, the Dogs staged a second half comeback to get a 65-59 win. Trevond Barnes played a big role in the game, with 10 of his team-high 18 points coming in the second half.

Kaminski Bledsoe had an outstanding night with 17 points, while Tequarri Whitlow added 10 from the post. Tyric Davis finished with six points and Cordeski Floyd and Jatarvious Whitlow each had five.

In the first round of the tournament on Wednesday, Coach Threadgill didn’t feel like his team played with much emotion, but they still had no trouble dispatching Notasulga, 71-42. Thirteen Bulldogs scored in the win, which set up the finals match-up against Valley, who had beaten Sacred Heart Catholic School earlier in the day.

Bledsoe led the Dogs with 11 points, while Tequarri Whitlow again finished with 10 points. Davis and Maurice Foster each had eight points, Kentrel Holloway had six and Barnes finished with five.

The championship game on Friday lived up to the billing between the two county rivals. It went down to the wire, but in the end free throws propelled LaFayette to a 59-58 win. Davis was the star of the night, finishing with a team-high 21 points. He connected on 11-of-14 free throw attempts and scored 14 points in the second half.

One of the biggest contributors in the win was Barnes, who scored eight points in the fourth and finished with 12. Tequarri Whitlow added seven points and Foster had six. Bledsoe scored five but left the game with a toe injury.

Floyd, Davis, Barnes and Tequarri Whitlow were named to the all-tournament team.

LaFayette had a scheduled game with Valley this Saturday, but it has been moved to January 25. LHS’s next contest will be in Weedowee against Randolph County next Tuesday at 6:30 pm CST. It’s another area game for the Dogs.

*For full story see this week’s edition The Sun.

December 4, 2013 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Chambers boys off to hot start

The Chambers Academy boys continued their impressive start to the season by winning the South Montgomery County Academy Tournament last week in Grady, Alabama. The boys took the title after convincing wins over host SMCA in the first round and Sparta Academy in the championship game.

“It was really good to win the tournament,” CA Coach Jason Allen said. “I think it’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that.

“We’re building confidence with every game, and we’re starting to learn to play with each other and really learning about our team.

Demetrius Lemon puts up a shot in the Rebels big win over Coosa Valley Monday.

Demetrius Lemon puts up a shot in the Rebels big win over Coosa Valley Monday.

There are still a lot of mistakes that need to be corrected, but we are really moving forward.”

The Rebels got another impressive win on Monday night in their home opener against Coosa Valley, and are 4-0 on the season.

CA had little trouble dispatching of SMCA in last week’s tournament. They outscored the Raiders 24-11 in the third quarter and cruised to a 78-42 win.

Quadarius Tinsley and Demetrius Lemon paced the Rebels with 18 points each. Tinsley dropped 16 points in the first half, including four three-pointers, and grabbed eight rebounds. Lemon finished with five rebounds.

In the championship game on Tuesday, CA squared off against a solid Sparta team. And though the Warriors put up a good fight, the Rebels were far too much and earned a 67-48 win.

Lemon and Quadarius Tinsley again paved the way in the CA win. Tinsley had a game-high 17 points while Lemon added 14. Jay Tinsley scored seven of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, and Cord Dodgen scored 10. Lemon and Tae Henry were named to the all-tournament team for their performance, while Quadarius Tinsley was named tournament MVP.

Against Coosa Valley on Monday, the Rebels overcame an up-and-down start for a dominating 79-45 win.

Quadarius Tinsley led the team with 23 points, while Lemon had 16. Corey Bolt had a solid performance with 15 points and Henry had 10.

The Rebels next contest comes next week with two consecutive games against Lyman Ward Military Academy. The two teams will face off on Monday in Camp Hill, then will play in LaFayette on Thursday. The tip for both the games is scheduled for 6:30 pm CST.

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

Chambers boys open with wins over Hooper, Abbeville

Expectations are high for the Chambers Academy boys varsity team this year, and the Rebels didn’t disappoint as they opened the 2013-14 season last week. The Rebels picked up two impressive wins over 3A Hooper and area foe Abbeville and showed that they may put up a lot of wins.

The Rebels scored with relative ease in both games, controlled the boards and showed they have depth. Nine different players scored in the two wins, though none was more efficient than senior Quadarius Tinsley. Tinsley scored 42 points last week, and in both wins led the team in scoring.

In the opener at Hooper, it took the Rebels a while to get comfortable, but a strong defensive effort and efficiency at the free throw line carried them to the 64-52 win.

The game was tight in the first half. After a 10-10 score to end the first, the Rebels finally got a two-point edge at the break. They increased the lead to five after the half, and then erupted for 24 points over the final quarter to seal the win.

In the game CA collected 14 steals; they grabbed 39 rebounds, including 13 on the offensive side. Tinsley scored 24 in the win, 20 of which came in the second half. He also helped ice the game by draining nine-of-nine free throws in the fourth quarter and finished a perfect 10-for-10 for the game.

Jay Tinsley was a major part of the fourth quarter run, scoring 11 of his 19 points over the final eight minutes of the game. He sank 8-of-9 free throws during the win.

Tae Henry, Demetrius Lemon and Corey Bolt each chipped in six points. Lemon grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, while Henry had six rebounds and Bolt had three steals. Cord Dodgen added three points as well for CA.

Against Abbeville, the Rebels asserted their dominance in the first half. The General kept up for a while, trailing 24-18 after one. But in the second, CA erupted on a 19-0 run and Abbeville never recovered.

Heading into the third quarter, the Rebel lead was 62-29 and they would close out with a 70-33 win. They out-rebounded the Generals 61-28 and had three players in double digits.

Quadarius Tinsley scored 11 points in the first quarter, and finished with a team-high 18. Dodgen scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half and Bolt finished with 12 points. Henry had four points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Jay Tinsley had seven points and nine rebounds. Lemon scored four and grabbed seven rebounds and Jeremy Holliday finished with three points and seven rebounds. Jamie Brown had four points in the win, and Ben Wilkerson scored three.

The Rebels were set to participate in the South Montgomery County Academy Tournament on Monday and Tuesday of this week, and those games will be covered next week.
CA returns to the court after the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, Dec. 2 with their home opener against Coosa Valley. They stay in LaFayette on Tuesday for another area game, this time against Lakeside. Their game next Saturday against Springwood has been moved to a date later in the season.

November 26, 2013 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

Basketball tips off locally this week

Basketball season tipped off this week in LaFayette, with Chambers Academy hitting the hardwood first on Monday night. The Rebels have another game Thursday while LaFayette High opens next Tuesday.

All four Chambers teams traveled to 3A Hooper Academy on Monday. The boys were the lone victors for the Rebels on the night. They defeated Hooper 64-52. The varsity girls fell 62-54, the junior high boys were defeated 37-21 and the junior high girls lost 37-26. Those games will be covered in next week’s edition.

CA is set to travel to Abbeville on Thursday, with all four teams in action. The varsity teams will both compete in the South Montgomery County Academy Tournament on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and the Rebels first home contest is set for Monday, Dec. 2 against Coosa Valley. Chambers has seven games on the schedule before the Christmas break, along with two tournaments.

All three LaFayette High teams will be in action for the season opener at home against Booker T. Washington High School on Nov. 26.

The varsity boys will then host the annual Tip-Off Tournament on Nov. 27 and 29. The Bulldogs will welcome Valley, Notasulga and Sacred Heart Catholic School for the tournament. Valley and Sacred Heart will play in the first game at 6 pm CST on Wednesday and LaFayette and Notasulga will close the evening. The two losing teams will play in the consolation game on Friday at 6 pm and the championship will begin at 7:30 pm.

LHS has two more home games, against Horseshoe Bend on Dec. 3 and Valley on Dec. 7, before they play their first road game on Dec. 10 against Randolph County. Both Randolph County and Horseshoe Bend are region games for the Bulldogs.

LaFayette has seven regular season games on the schedule before the Christmas break, as well as two tournaments.

Chambers Academy well represented in AISA All-Star game

Five Chambers Academy seniors will represent the school in the AISA All-Star football game on Dec. 6 in Montgomery. Corey Bolt (back left) and Quadarius Tinsley will play on the East team in the game, while, from left, Heather Blackburn, Lindsey Ison and Jordan Brown will cheer for the team.

Five Chambers Academy seniors will represent the school in the AISA All-Star football game on Dec. 6 in Montgomery. Corey Bolt (back left) and Quadarius Tinsley will play on the East team in the game, while, from left, Heather Blackburn, Lindsey Ison and Jordan Brown will cheer for the team.

Two Chambers Academy football players and three cheerleaders will represent the school in the annual AISA East-West All-Star football game on December 6 in Montgomery.

Corey Bolt and Quadarius Tinsley will take the field for the East squad in the all-classification game, while Heather Blackburn, Lindsey Ison and Jordan Brown will cheer for the team.

All-stars are chosen from eligible seniors in classes 1A through 3A to form the teams, which are made up of 44 members each.

Bolt and Tinsley both played critical roles in leading Chambers to a playoff berth this season, as the Rebels finished with a 5-6 record and were fourth in Class 1A Region 1. The Rebels were defeated in the first round by No. 4 ranked Marengo Academy, who will play for the state title this week.

Bolt was the central figure in CA’s powerful rushing attack. He led the team by accumulating 1,238 yards on the year on 199 carries with an average of 6.2 yards per carry. He recorded six 100-plus yard games and scored 11 rushing touchdowns. Bolt also caught six passes for 65 yards.

Tinsley was a dangerous athlete in all three phases of the game for the Rebels, accounting for a total of 14 touchdowns. He ran for 423 yards on 82 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He caught 14 passes for 349 yards, averaging 24.9 yards per catch. He rushed for five touchdowns and caught six. He also returned two punts for scores and had one interception returned for a touchdown.

Bolt is listed as a fullback and linebacker on the all-star roster while Tinsley is listed as a wide receiver and defensive back. Both Rebels could see time on both offense and defense.

The all-star game will be played at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery on December 6 at 7 pm CST.

Rebels eliminated in first round by Marengo

Corey Bolt shakes off a Marengo defender as he runs for yardage in the Rebels first round playoff game Friday night.

Corey Bolt shakes off a Marengo defender as he runs for yardage in the Rebels first round playoff game Friday night.

LINDEN – Whether or not it’s accurate, coaches, players and fans tend to gauge the skill of a team based on how they play common opponents. It’s a flawed system, but many times it provides at least some sort of estimate about how teams stack up against each other.

Chambers Academy didn’t have that luxury in the first round of the AISA 1A playoffs. Their opponent, No. 4 Marengo Academy, was viewed as one of the best in the state. They were undefeated and had won each game convincingly, but their level of competition wasn’t quite up to par.

Coach Jason Allen knew the Longhorns looked good on film, but he didn’t know just how good.

He and the Rebels found out how good they were on Friday night.

From the opening kickoff Marengo controlled the contest. The Longhorns were fast, aggressive and hit harder than perhaps any team CA had faced all season. Chambers didn’t underestimate their opponent; they simply just couldn’t keep up with them. And when it was over, the Rebels turnaround season ended with a 51-14 loss.

“Marengo was a very good team,” Allen said. “They were physical on both sides of the ball and really took it to us. They will contend for the state championship.

“I was proud that our guys hung in there for four quarters and continued to fight. We simply just got beat by a better team.”

On a cold night in west Alabama, it all happened fast. Marengo forced a turnover on downs on the Rebels first possession. Then moments later raced 40 yards for a touchdown for a 7-0 lead three minutes into the game.

Chambers punted on the ensuing possession, and the Longhorns promptly drove down the field. They found the endzone again with 4:20 left in the first quarter on a three-yard run to take a 13-0 lead after a failed extra point kick.

Chambers was forced into a fourth and 20 situation and again elected to punt on the next drive. Marengo then took a 19-0 lead on another short touchdown run with 1:06 left in the quarter.

A reeling CA squad then made their first big mistake of the game, fumbling the kickoff and giving the Longhorns excellent field position. Marengo committed a penalty on their first play of the drive but it didn’t matter as they raced for a 36-yard touchdown and a 26-0 lead with 50 seconds left in the first.

The Rebels finally found a little life on their ensuing possession. They marched down the field, spurred by a big fourth down run by Corey Bolt, to move into Longhorn territory. The drive would eventually stall and CA elected to kick a field goal. But sensing their dire situation, the Rebels went for the fake. Unfortunately a pass fell incomplete and Chambers stayed off the scoreboard.

Though the drive didn’t result in any points it did keep the ball out of Marengo’s hands for the better part of six minutes. When the Longhorns did get it back, though, they wasted little time. They increased their lead to 33-0 after a 47-yard touchdown run around left end.

Chambers was facing another three-and-out on their next drive, but again elected for a fake, this time on a punt. But like before, it failed, and Marengo took over in CA territory. With 54 seconds left in the first half, the Longhorns all but sealed the game with a four-yard touchdown run to take a 39-0 lead.

Marengo got the ball to open the second half, and they embarked on a methodical, time-consuming drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run. With 5:30 left in the third quarter, their lead was now 45-0.

To that point, CA had some success running the ball, but it wasn’t consistent and Bolt was taking a beating from the powerful Longhorns. So the Rebels decided to go to the air on their first possession of the second half.

It didn’t work out well. Quarterback Cord Dodgen tossed an interception on the first play and Marengo returned it 35 yards for a touchdown and a 51-0 lead with 3:53 left in the third.

But Allen was right, the Rebels never quit. They played the final quarter, facing an insurmountable deficit, with the same fervor they had played the first quarter.

With just over seven minutes left to play in the game, it finally paid off as Dodgen connected with Quadarius Tinsley for a 33-yard touchdown pass.

The duo connected one more time before the game ended, this time from 23 yards out.

“I am especially proud of our senior class and the leadership they showed this year,” Allen added. “They bought in completely to our program and were a joy to coach. They made Chambers football relevant again.

“I would like to thank all of the people that helped make our season a success. Hopefully, what was accomplished this season will pave the way for many good seasons ahead.”

*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.

November 13, 2013 | Posted in: Prep, Sports | Comments Closed

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