Several locals seeing
NCAA tourney action
A few players with ties to the Shoals have gotten to play in this weekend's NCAA regionals.
Florence grad Cole Henry started LSU's second game of the regional, which was Saturday against Southern Miss. The freshman threw five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and three walks with six strikeouts, as LSU won 8-4.
Russellville's Judd Ward went 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored in Auburn's 16-7 win over Coastal Carolina. The sophomore added a double and a single in a 6-5 win Saturday over Georgia Tech.
In Auburn's 4-1 win over Georgia Tech to clinch the regional, Russellville grad Cody Greenhill pitched the final three innings. He allowed one run on one hit, walking none and striking out four. Ward also made an excellent throw from the outfield to get an out.
Muscle Shoals product Isaac Alexander drove in a run in Jacksonville State's loss to Ole Miss, and he had a hit and scored two runs in a 7-5 win over Illinois. It was JSU baseball's first NCAA tournament win ever.
Against Clemson, Alexander went 2 for 3 with two walks, two runs and two RBIs. He went 1 for 4 in a loss to Ole Miss that ended the Gamecocks' season.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Loretto's Karly Weathers
picks up Tennessee offer
Karly Weathers, a rising sophomore at Loretto High School, earned a scholarship offer from the University of Tennessee basketball program, according to posts on her Twitter account Saturday.
Weathers, a 5-10 guard, also has scholarship offers from Florida State, Indiana, Iowa State, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, South Florida and Vanderbilt.
She was MVP of the Class A state tournament in March and the TimesDaily's small school girls basketball player of the year.
- Staff reports
Auburn asst. coach
AUBURN — After 11 weeks on paid administrative leave, Ira Bowman is back on staff.
The Auburn men's basketball assistant was reinstated to his job within the last few days, a team spokesman confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser. He is taking part in the program's on-campus recruiting event this weekend, according to Rivals.
“After a thorough review of all available facts and information, Ira Bowman has fully resumed his role and responsibilities with the Auburn men’s basketball program,” the athletics department said in a statement.
Bowman was placed on paid leave on March 14, the day before the start of the SEC Tournament, after former Penn head coach Jerome Allen testified during the federal Medicare and Medicaid fraud trial of Florida business Phillip Esformes that he took roughly $300,000 as a bribe to get his son, Morris Esformes, into Penn using a basketball priority slot, according to a report from Philly.com.
Allen said Bowman, a first-year assistant coach on Pearl's staff who spent the previous six seasons coaching at his alma mater, had knowledge of the scheme and was brought into it after Allen was let go by Penn following the 2015 season.
The recruiting weekend he's assisting with might be among the most significant the program has ever had, as there are multiple five-star recruits expected to be on campus.
- Montgomery Advertiser
Javon Franklin signs
with Auburn hoops
AUBURN, Ala. – Javon Franklin, a 6-foot-7, 218-pound forward from Little Rock, Ark. and Holmes CC (Miss.) has signed his national letter of intent to Auburn University, head coach Bruce Pearl announced Saturday.
Franklin, who has three years of eligibility, averaged 10.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a freshman before suffering a season-ending leg injury one game into his sophomore campaign.
“Javon fills a lot of holes for us because of his size, athleticism and versatility,” Pearl said. “With three years of eligibility remaining, he has a chance to make a real impact on our program.
“He is a high-level athlete, defender and rebounder. We’ve had great success with players with that kind of size, speed and athleticism.”
Franklin finished 19th in the country with a 63.2 field goal percentage during his freshman campaign in 2017-18.