Bearcats post Shootout victories

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BHS varsity boys basketball player Justin Baker shoots during Friday night's game vs. Malone (Fla.)

Coach Rickey McCullough’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats basketball team rolled to impressive victories Friday and Sarurday, helping Georgia teams win eight of nine games and dominate the Georgia-Florida Shootout at the school’s gymnasium.

The Bearcats and coach Kelvin Cochran’s Bainbridge High School Lady Cats returned to action Tuesday with a pair of games against Tift County, in Tifton, Ga.

On Friday, the Bearcats defeated the Malone (Fla.) Tigers, 73-47, and on Saturday they downed Rickards (Tallahassee, Fla.), the defending Florida State Class AAA champions, 74-48.

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The Cottontail (Fla.) Hornets defeated the Miller County Pirates on Friday for Florida’s only Shootout victory.

The Shootout was dedicated to the late Melanese D. Johnson, grandmother of BHS sophomore public address announcer Devin Thompson, who loved and supported BHS basketball players.

McCullough said he thought his Bearcats, who improved their season record to 5-2 with their Friday and Saturday wins, had their best two efforts of the season in those victories.

“We had a great team effort tonight.” he said, following Friday night’s victory. “We had some players off the bench, like Greg Lee, Mike Jones, Dillon Thomas and Tim Shaw, who really came in and contributed.”

Bainbridge 73, Malone (Fla.) 47

The Bearcats took control Friday night when they outscored the Tigers 7-0 late in the first quarter, to take a 17-7 lead entering the second quarter.

Bainbridge led just 10-7 when Dillen Thomas hit a jumper at the 2:18 mark to start the 7-0 run. Their lead moved to 14-7 when Rodney Glenn banged home a jumper at the 2:10 mark. Trea Kelly concluded the 7-0 run with a three-point jumper from the left side.

Paul Chukes, who led the Bearcats in scoring Friday night with 19 points, hit a field goal and two free throws just 17 seconds into the second quarter to increase the Bearcats’ lead over the Tigers to 20-7.

They built their lead to 33-18 at halftime, and were ahead 45-25 after three quarters.

Greg Lee joined Chukes in the double-figure scoring column, with 10 points. Rodney Glenn and Trea Kelly added nine apiece and Justin Baker put in eight.

Rounding out the Friday night scoring were Dontavious Marshall with seven, Mez Harris and Tim Shaw with four apiece, Dillen Thomas with three and Rashad Kelly with two.

Chi Baker of the Tigers took game-scoring honors with 23. His brother, Ty Baker, was also in double figures with 10.

Bainbridge 74, Rickards (Fla.) 48

In Saturday night’s win over Rickards, the Bearcats scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back. Trea Kelly, who took game-scoring honors with 20 points, scored the first eight on a turnaround jumper at the 7:42 mark, layups at the 7:13 and 6:10 marks and two free throws at the 4:57 mark.

Rodney Glenn banged home a layup off the right glass at the 4:12 mark to make it 10-0. They led 18-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Dontavious Marshall’s three-point jumper with 4:10 left in the second quarter increased the Bearcats lead to 25-16. They were ahead 36-13 at halftime and 56-28 after three quarters.

Trea Kelly took led the Bearcats on Saturday night with 20 points. Rodney Glenn and Dontavious Marshall were also in double figures, with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Completing the Bearcats on Saturday night’s scoring chart were Tim Shaw with seven, Mike Jones with six, Paul Chukes and Mez Harris with five apiece, and Justin Baker and Deion Thomas with three apiece.

Raheem Sparrow led Rickards with 12. Charlie Kelly added nine.

Playing on Friday, in addition to Cottondale and Miller County, and Bainbridge and Malone, were Thomas County Central, who defeated Blounstown (Fla.), and Valdosta, who defeated Rickards.

In early Saturday action, Central defeated Cottondale, Miller County defeated Blounstown, Valdosta defeated Malone and Cairo defeated Wakulla (Fla.).