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February 21, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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rter The Best Coverage for Monroe County Sports 5C February 21, 2018 MARY PERSONS BULLDOGS Terry Johnson 3B SPRING SPORTS 4p.m. Varsity Girls & Boys Tennis (vs. Jones County) 5:30 p.m. JV GirlsS0ccer (vs. Ups0n-Lee) 7:30 p.m. JV Boys Soccer (vs. Ups0n-Lee) Friday; Feb 23 2<1 Sa.turda ; Monday, Feb, 26 Tuesday, Feb. 27 4 p.m. Cqeam Baseball (vs. Henderson) 5:30 p.m. JV Girls S0ccer (vs. Griffin) 7:30 p.m. JV Boys Soccer (vs. Griffin) Dogs fall at home to Carver-C01umbus after Holden's hand injury By Rk:hard Dumas forsythC ymcr.net The Mary Persons boys basketball team's historic sea- sen came to an inauspicious end when the Bulldogs were botmced from the AAAA state playoffs in the first round on Saturday. The No. 2 seed Bulldogs fell 81-64 at home to visiting Carver-Columbus, the No. 3 seed from Region 1-AAAA, preventing MP from advanc- ing to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. MP was forced to play without its top player, senior Cam Holden, who breke his right shoot- ing hand after landing on it during a fall in a mid-week practice. Holden averaged more than 28 points a game in 2017-18 and led MP in all major statistical categories. The Bulldogs finished the sea- sen with a new school record 23 wins, and throe of Ml~s five losses came with Holden missing from the lineup either due to injury or suspension~ Despite the loss, MP head coach Greg Nix said the first- round defeat did not put a damper on his squad's many 2017-18 achievements. ,I don't think so," Nix said. '~ mean it does to our play- ers because this is the whole goal the whole year. It wasn't exactly how many wins we were going to gel It was get- ring past the Sweet 16. So, I told them when we were in there (looker room), I said: ~rou know what? You are the best basketball team at Mary Persons in the last 50 years. There's a lot to be said about that. You won the champion- ship of our own tournament. You played in the region championship for a third year in a row. We've got a lot of accomplishments. My office is filling up with trophies because of y'alL' So we've had all these accomplishments. We can't not focus on those because of an unfortunate accident" Despite missing Holden from the lineup, MP got off to a selid 7-1 start~ including a pair of dose-range baskets by junior small forward Desmond Williams. But Carver guard/~J. Watts, who scored a game-high 34 points, answered right back with a double-pump score in traz~- tion to tie the game at 9-9 and then a layup off of a steal to give the 'l'~em their first lead at 11-9 with 3:47 left in the first quarter. But MP would respond with a 5-0 run of its own on a corner three-pointer by Dee Morton followed by a Tre Edge layup to reclaim a 14-11 advantage. However, moments later, MP peint guard Rekia Weaver had to sit down with his third foul, and the Dogs' momentum ceased with three minutes left in the first period, With Weaver on the bench, Carver would end the quarter on a 10-3 run to take a 21-17 lead after one period. After NIX reinserted Weaver early in the second period, things got worse for the Bulldogs when starting shoot- ing guard Dee Morton also Mary Persons point guard Rekia Weaver slashes to the basket during the second half of MP's 81-64 state playoff loss to Carver-Columbus on Saturday. (Photo/Kim Holderfield) picked up his third foul with 4:02 left in the second period. MP was down by just five at 31-26 at the time and the game stayed tight with MP trailing just 35-33 at halflSme despite Watts breaking down the Dogs' 1-3-1 zone defense for a pdr of lefty layups late in first half. wdtts led the Tigers with 15 first- ha]f points while Edge and Williams picked up the slack in Holden's absence with 12 points each in the first half. The explosive Watts then picked up in the second half right where he left off, splash- LnN a long jumper to open the third period. Despite MFs offense struggling to gain traction, the Dogs' defense kept MP in the game until late in the third period when Carver got hot behind the three-point line. With 2:28 left in the third quarter, Watts drove into the paint, where he gave MP fits all nigh~ and kicked out to the left corner to a wide-open Dexter S'munons, who drained the trey for a nine-point Tigers' lead at 46-37. Moments later, at~r MP cut its deficit back to six on a three-pointer by seldom- used sephomore Maurice Shannon, Simmons connected on another long three-pointer to push the Tigers' advan- tage to 49-40. Seconds later, Sinamons converted a layup off of a dish from Watts to put the Tigers ahead by double digits at 51-40 for the first time in the contest. Watts would finish at the rim with his left hand moments later to put Carver ahead by 13, but back-to-back MP three- pointers by Ty Bouie and Williams, respectively, nat- rowed MP's deficit to seven at 53-46. Carver then led by nine at 55-46 through three quarter~ and went about add- ing to its advantage early in the fourth period. Carver's Devin Flowers drove baseline and absorbed contact for a layup and one to put the Tigers ahead 62-48 with 5:47 4eft in the game. With MP tmilm" ~ by 13 with 3:37 left and its chances on life sup- pert, Weaver was whistled for his fi~ foul, ending his stel- lar MP playing career. Watts then took over the remaining stages of the game, capping a blowout Tigers' victory with a right-handed jam with 1:22 left that put the Tigers up by 20 and had Carvers players and coaches exploding off of its bench with joy. Simmons and Flowers joined Watts in double figures for the Tigers with 16 and 11 points, respectively. Edge, also playing his final game for MP, led the Bulldogs with 16 points. He was joined in double figures by teammates Williams and Weaver, who scored 14 and 10, respectively. NIX did not lay MFs issues on Saturday at the hands of foul trouble, instead focus'rag on the Dogs' poor shooting, which included a 39 percent night from the field and just 64 percent from the free throw line. '~ kind of felt like for us to win today that we were going to have to really shoot the ball well," NIX said. "And I don't think we did that. I don't think we shot it well at alL. When you get in a tourna- ment like this, even though you're a fast-break tean~ you' re not going to get as many fast breaks. I talked at halftime when we were down by one. I sai& "We've missed some big opportunities with these layups that we got off our steals on our press that we can't go get back. We've probably got about four or five layups that we've misse& Instead of being 35-33 down, we ought to be up 41-35 or even worse. But we've got to move oral So, second half when we had open shots, we didn't knock them down." Nix said not having Holden in the lineup dearly had an impact. '~fs not just missing 28 peints and 10 rebounds, ifs missing the heart and the guts of your team," Holden said. ' fs missing the tough- nese. All those guys are tough in their own right, but his toughness is what n akes him great. And his leader- ship. So if the Clevehnd Cavs lose LeBren (James), ifs not gonna go weK And that's 28 points and 10 rebounds and the heart and guts. I?m not gonna make excuses, but it makes a difference" NIX said he will miss coach- ing his record-breaking squad, which featured seven depart- ing seniors, including three starters. '~ur seniors, I went through with them about what they were and who they were when they came into this program," Nix said. "And there they are, all seven of them finishing. Five of them started in our middle school, and two of them came on a lltth later. So the pbasum that I got for seeing them grow up and become better young men and better basket. ball players and a team. It's been a great year. The reason that I think that we've been successful is I haven't had to coach attitude and I haven't had to coach effort very much. And they are well-behaved in school, and they've been a great representative for me and our school and our bas- ketball program. I feel very successful." With MFs defeat, Carver- Columbus will next travel on Thursday for a second round matchup at Woodward Academy, the top seed from Region 4-AAAA, whi~ defeated Hephzibah 80-64 in the first round. Meanwhile, the future still seems bright for MP's boys basketball program as the MP JV boys, coached by Jon Nolton, finished the season with a 12-4 record. m rrmA at OFFICIAL GUIDE Don't missthe chanceto advertise your business FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL for the community's PREMNEVENT FOR33 YEARS! Help spomor this guide to allthe eveflls sunoun~mg the Fo~y~ia Fes~, induding: C p Sd u of I~mtown Vendors Map Emerl~nmem 6an~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS Residential & Commercial Propane Sales & Service Cylinder Exchange 59 Pierson Street Culloden, GA Need Propane? 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