Dale delivers in Wildcat win at Cedar Bluff

Sand Rock’s Ben Dale shoots a fadeaway jumper against Cedar Bluff on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

SAND ROCK – John Blackwell is preparing the Sand Rock Wildcats for the stretch run of the basketball season.

He knows opponents are going to try and take away sharpshooting senior point guard Jacob StClair, so he’s trying to find other options in which to produce offense.

Blackwell seems to have found one in senior guard Ben Dale.

Dale delivered 14 points and seven rebounds in helping Sand Rock earn a 60-47 victory at Cedar Bluff on Monday evening.

“We’ve got a pretty good point guard (in StClair) who can get a shot a lot of times. We’ve seen against some of the better teams we’ve played this year, primarily down in Panama City, they’re going to double and triple team him. We’ve got to be able to do some things to score when somebody takes him away,” Blackwell said. “You can’t wait until that game gets here to do that. You’ve got to prepare for it. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to prepare ourselves for that game where maybe somebody takes Jacob away. Somebody takes Kaden Justice away. We have to have somebody else step up and score. That’s what we worked on tonight.

“Ben Dale is on about a three-week stretch where he’s really playing well,” Blackwell continued. “He’s pulling a lot of rebounds. He’s getting on the (score) board. He’s not turning it over. He’s scoring when he’s supposed to score. He’s really playing well right now.”

Cedar Bluff coach Johnny Amison also praised Dale’s effort against the Tigers.

“I really like that kid,” Amison said. “He plays hard. He rebounds. He’s strong. He always worries me. Everyone knows what StClair and Justice are going to do. To me, he’s the problem. He does all the dirty work and he’s very good at it. He’s tough.”

The Wildcats held a 17-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter and built a 32-24 edge at halftime. They held a 46-35 lead at the end of three quarters.

Eight of Dale’s points came in the fourth quarter, and they helped put a pesky Tiger team away. Cedar Bluff (9-7) had cut Sand Rock’s lead to seven at 48-41 on an MJ Adams basket with 6 ½ minutes remaining, but then Dale reeled off three straight buckets to push Sand Rock out to a 54-41 advantage with just over five minutes to go.

It was a run in which the Tigers wouldn’t recover.

“Take nothing away from them. They did a good job, but we’re trying to do some things for the end of the season, nail down some offenses, and try to do some things we need to do to be successful hopefully in the postseason,” Blackwell said. “Sometimes when you do that you kind of look ugly, but their defense had a lot to do with that too.”

StClair still led Sand Rock with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. He also had six rebounds. Justice rang for 12 points and grabbed seven boards. Brian Giles and Jake Middlebrooks both managed five points. Giles also pulled down seven rebounds. Middlebrooks had four boards.

Adams accounted for 15 points for the Tigers. Caleb Tucker connected on a pair of treys and had 11 points. Bucky Leek came away with seven points. Dylan Kinard and Eli McFry both finished with five points.

“We’re playing hard,” Amison said. “Our defense is getting better, but we just go through scoring droughts where we can’t score. We’ve just got to get over that hump where we can put the ball in the basket more efficiently.”


Sand Rock 69, Cedar Bluff 37

CEDAR BLUFF – Katelyn StClair rang for 25 points, including four 3-pointers, to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and three assists in leading the Sand Rock Lady Wildcats to a 69-37 girls basketball victory at Cedar Bluff on Monday.

Zoey Handy added 17 points, five boards, three steals and two assists for the Lady Wildcats (10-9). Chloe Stephens and Kennedy Henderson both scored six points. Stephens also contributed six rebounds, five steals and two assists. Henderson also had 12 rebounds, three assists and a steal.

Kylie Vadon topped the Lady Tigers (9-5) with 17 points. Rylie Walker had six points on a pair of 3-pointers.

Sand Rock held a 24-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter, then went on a 25-13 run in the second to take a 49-27 edge at halftime. The Lady Wildcats led 67-35 after three quarters.

Sand Rock’s Zoey Handy drives in for a basket against Cedar Bluff on Monday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print