HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Altom leads Cornerstone boys hoops to elusive first district win
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 11:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 11:48 p.m.
For the last two seasons, Cornerstone Academy’s boys basketball has searched for an elusive first district win since making the full-time jump to Class 2A from FHSAA independent play.
While the Cougars looked on their way to another disheartening loss after a slow start against Seven Rivers last Tuesday, Cornerstone guard Jake Altom made sure his team’s wait was over.
On a 14-of-18 shooting performance, Altom torched the Warriors for 41 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the last-place Cougars to a 63-54 home victory against the top team in District 2A-4.
“He just got going, and before I knew it, he was having a great night,” Cornerstone coach Carlos Villalobos said. “After the game, I didn’t realize he had 41.”
Though he took just 18 shots, Altom was able to break the 40-point barrier by hitting 10 of 10 shots from the free-throw line.
Villalobos, who is in his first year with Cougars, believes the victory can be a turning point for his young team, which started 0-3 this season in district play.
“The biggest difference right now, from the beginning of the year, is the kids are starting to understand what it takes to win,” Villalobos said. “This week, they showed that they can definitely be a pretty good team.”
Three days after his 41-point outburst, Altom scored 22 points, hauled in 9 rebounds and had 4 assists in Cornerstone’s 61-54 road win at Ocala Christian Academy.
Following a pair of wins last week, Villalobos feels his team, led by Altom, is peaking at the right time heading into the district tournament hosted by Seven Rivers on Feb. 4.
“I talk with the kids about, right now, it’s just about getting better and trying to build a culture at this school,” Villalobos said.
“Once districts roll around, anything can happen. Everybody’s 0-0.”
OLIVIA BAILEY, BELL: Bailey, a senior forward, scored 24 points last Tuesday in the Bulldogs’ 49-14 win against Cedar Key and then had 19 points in a 42-29 loss at Trenton. She also notched 18 rebounds, 10 assists and 9 steals between the two games.
JORDYN REGISTER, SANTA FE: Register scored a total of 5 goals in two games last week for the Raiders, including a hat trick in a 3-2 victory last Friday against St. Francis. The junior forward also scored a pair of goals last Monday in a 4-1 win against Eastside.
JIMMIE TAYLOR III, SUWANNEE: The senior shooting guard led the Bulldogs to a 64-46 win against Rickards last Tuesday with a team-high 18 points. Taylor also had 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block and 1 steal in the District 2A-5 victory.
KEVARRIUS HAYES, SUWANNEE: A sophomore center, Hayes posted 11 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 steals last Tuesday to help the Bulldogs wrest sole possession of first place in District 2A-5 from Rickards.
JOGGIE KOVIE, SANTA FE: The senior goalkeeper made a combined 10 saves for the Raiders’ boys team in a 1-1 draw with St. Francis last Tuesday and a 2-1 win Friday against Gainesville.
SUSANNE ANDERSON, SANTA FE: A sophomore midfielder, Anderson scored a goal and dished 2 assists in a 4-1 win last Monday against Eastside. Four day later, she provided Santa Fe’s lone assist in a 3-2 victory against St. Francis.
CASEY TROIANO, GAINESVILLE: The junior forward had a goal and an assist in the Hurricanes’ 5-0 home win against P.K. Yonge last Tuesday. She also scored both of Gainesville’s goals in a 2-0 victory Wednesday against visiting Buchholz.
Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.