Basketball players provided thrills

Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The thrills provided by players in the recently completed Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Lady Cats basketball seasons were many.
Coach Rickey McCullough’s Bearcats, who went 27-3 and won the Region 1AAAA South Sub-Region and Region 1AAAA championships, were led by senior forward Devon Baulkman, one of the best players in Bearcats basketball history.
While Baulkman was a great rebounder and had many strong slam dunks and layups, he was equally adept at swishing the nets with three-point shots from outside.
Coach Latreisha Moon’s Lady Cats, who went 21-7, won the Region 1AAAA South Sub-Region championship and finished second in Region 1AAAA, featured a pair of outstanding senior leaders in guard April Thomas and forward Bria Harris.
Thomas, although standing only 5 feet, 2 inches, had tremendous quickness. Opposing defenders simply could not keep up with her as she drove the length of the court and put in layups time after time.
Harris was a real presence rebounding and scoring in the lane. While she did not get a great deal of playing time, fellow senior Candace Perkins also showed a lot of leadership for the Lady Cats.
Those providing senior leadership along with Baulkman for the Bearcats included Shawn Samuels, whose leaping ability was a big asset; Rohan Gaines, who set up the offense from the point guard position, and Ronald Crawford, who coach McCullough called his most improved player.
Other Bearcats who had their share of senior highlights during the 2010-2011 basketball season were Jamar Venisee-Cosby, Adam Taylor and D.J. Stubbs.
We are indeed fortunate to have two outstanding coaches running our boys and girls basketball programs at Bainbridge High School.
Coach McCullough, who led the Bearcats to the Region 1AAAA championship and the State Class AAAA Final Four the two seasons prior to this one, was inducted last May 15 into the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches (FABC) 2010 Court of Legends Hall of Fame.
Prior to coming to Bainbridge five seasons ago, Coach McCullough coached 31 years in Florida, one at Cottondale High School, three at Liberty County High School in Bristol and 27 at Chipley High School.
He compiled an outstanding 599-229 record at Chipley, leading his teams to 19 District Championships and 15 Regional Championships.
Coach Moon, who had an outstanding coaching record at Malone, Fla., High School before coming to Bainbridge, was an All-American with the Alabama A&M University Lady Bulldogs in Normal, Ala., and played professional basketball in Finland.  As a senior All-American in 1998, she led the nation in rebounding with 17 a game and averaged 14 points a game.

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