Cagers second half looks good

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If tournament results are any indication, and I think they are, the Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Lady Cats basketball teams have been gearing up for what I feel will be a strong post-holiday run.

Coach Rickey McCullough’s Bearcats, who lost 76-60 to the Rickards High School Raiders in the opening round of the 18th annual Capital City Basketball Classic Monday night in Tallahassee, took a 9-2 record into their final Classic game last night against East Gadsden High School.

They were very impressive last week in winning the Maclay High School Holiday Hoops Tournament in Tallahassee.

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Coach Latreisha Moon’s Lady Cats were also impressive last week, winning two of three to finish a strong third in the Dothan, Ala., High School Lady Tigers Invitational.

Both teams are led by some very solid seniors. Three of those seniors, Melzie Johnson, Marquis Williams and James Lodman of the Bearcats, had particularly good weeks.

Johnson, a first team all-Region 1AAAA receiver for coach Ed Pilcher’s Bearcats football team in fall, had a good game Monday in Columbus when his South Georgia Senior All-Stars shutout the North Georgia Senior All-Stars 17-0 in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association (GACA) North-South All-Star Football Classic.

In the Maclay Tournament, Johnson, who scored 10 points in Friday’s 74-45 win over Taylor County, Fla., High School, a game-high 20 points in Saturday’s 60-25 semifinal win over the Chiles High School Timber Wolves and 16 in Monday’s 55-44 championship game win over the host Maclay High School Marauders, was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Williams, who made the All-Tournament team at Maclay, had three great floor games, dishing out many important assists to set up teammates for open shots.

The second big event in Williams’ week came when he was named to the Georgia Sportswriters All-State football team. A starting defensive back and punt and kickoff returner, Williams had earlier been named first-team All-Region 1AAAA at defensive back and on special teams by the Region coaches.

Lodman had a team-high 12 points in the Bearcats Monday night Classic against Rickards.

The Lady Cats also got big efforts from a pair of seniors, forward Alexis Burke and guard Zaikia Dawson. Burke had 22 and Dawson added 15 in the Lady Cats 101-58 Tuesday route of Sneads, Fla., High School that nailed down third place.

In the Lady Cats opening tournament game, a 47-41 Saturday loss to Ashford, Ala., High School, Burke led the way with 17. Burke scored 19 in the Lady Cats 59-53 Monday tournament win over Dothan’s Northview High School Lady Cougars.