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Bearcats beat Syrupmakers 62-51

Coach Rickey McCullough’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats improved their season record to 17-2 with a 62-51 Saturday night victory over the Cairo High School Syrupmakers at the Bainbridge High School Gymnasium.

The Bearcats featured a balanced scoring chart.

Devon Baulkman hit for a game-high 23 points. Rodney Glenn was also in double figures with 11, and Paul Chukes and Rohan Gaines put in 9 apiece.

The game was close throughout. The Bearcats started the scoring, going up 3-0 on a layup off the right glass and a free throw just 13 seconds into the game.

Moses Vasquez, who led the Syrupmakers with 12 points, quickly pulled them even 3-3 with a three-point jumper from the right baseline at the 7:15 mark. The Bearcats scored their next eight points to take an 11-3 lead.

First, Glenn hit a field goal at the 7:01 mark, then Baulkman hit two free throws at the 6:33 mark, then Glenn hit a free throw at the 6:13 mark, then Gaines hit a three-point jumper from the right side at the 5:05 mark.

The Syrupmakers scored the next six points to cut the Bearcats’ lead to 11-9. They came on two free throws by Trenton Madison at the 4:20 mark, two free throws by Terrell Bryant at the 3:29 mark and a layup off the right glass by Vasquez at the 2:10 mark.

Right behind Vasquez in the Syrupmakers’ scoring column were Madison with 10 and John Holt and Wade with 9 apiece.

“Cairo is always good and it takes a strong effort to beat them.” McCullough said after the game. “We must now focus on our Region 1AAAA schedule, which begins with two road games this weekend. We will play the Thomas County Central High School Yellow Jackets Friday and the Lee County High School Trojans Saturday.”

The Bearcats led 18-12 at the end of the first quarter. Two free throws by Terrell Bryant opened the second quarter cutting the Bearcats lead to 18-14.  A three-point shot by Rohan Gaines with 5:34 left in the second quarter put the Bearcats on top by eight, 24-16. They were ahead by six, 27-21, at halftime.

Gaines opened the third quarter with a three-point jumper from the right side at the 7:32 mark to give the Bearcats a 30-21 lead, but Da’Keidres Wade hit field goals at the 6:17 and 6:02 marks to cut the lead back to five, at 30-25.

The lead was still five, 42-37, entering the fourth quarter. With the Bearcats leading by just two, 45-43, early in the fourth quarter, Glenn drove into the lane, banked one in off the right glass, was fouled, and hit the free throw to increase the lead back to five, 48-43.