BAINBRIDGE - If you can't beat 'em in the first half, do it in the second.
That's the simple strategy the Miller County boys basketball team used Monday in the Georgia-Florida Shootout at Bainbridge, as Juwan Jones scored 34 points and had 11 rebounds to help lead the Pirates (2-6) past Blountstown (Fla.), 76-72.
"We just kept fighting for it and started making shots," said 6-foot-3 Miller center Jarrett Rahymes, who scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. "I had to step up and help the team out."
The Tigers (5-4) had a 40-34 lead at halftime, thanks to guard Will Rogers, who had 20 points and six 3-pointers at that point. But Rogers had only two points the rest of the way.
"We had to face-guard him (because) he was just killing us," Miller coach Tim Martin said. "At one point, we just said we wouldn't use any help whatsoever, just stay in his face, and I think that helped us in the second half."
Blountstown also changed strategies in the second half, focusing on trying to take charges on Jones, but it didn't work.
"It didn't really (affect me)," chuckled Jones, who played through a knee injury. "I (just relied on) jump shots, spin moves, pump fakes and stuff."
It also helped that Rahymes - who also had seven rebounds and eight assists - stepped up late, leading his team back from a 5-point deficit (63-58) with four minutes to play.
"Both of my big men really stepped up," Martin said. "We needed this game, so it feels really good to come down here and get a win because of our ability. We definitely stole the win tonight, but it does us good."
Paul Mosley added 18 points and P.J. Buggs had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Tigers, while nobody else
finished in double figures for Miller, which finishes up its play in the tournament today at 5:30 p.m. against Graceville.
BEHIND HERALD SUPER 6er HARRIS, BAINBRIDGE BURIES EARLY COUNTY:
BAINBRIDGE - It's never a good sign when your girls basketball team only makes one shot from the field in the first quarter. It's an even worse sign when they're down by 20 points at halftime.
Thank the Bainbridge defense for that.
The Lady Bobcats lost, 48-33, to Herald No. 2 Lady Bearcats (6-3) at the Georgia-Florida Shootout after BHS played stilting defense all game.
The Lady Bearcats used a team effort to jump out to an 18-4 lead after the first quarter, and kept that mentality, as no player had reached double figures in scoring by the end of the third, when Bainbridge led, 38-11.
Herald Super 6er Bria Harris finished with 10 points and seven rebounds for Bainbridge, while Briana Wade led the team with 12 points and four 3-pointers, and April Thomas and Briana Wade had eight points each.
"We all played as a team instead of one person scoring all the points. We all scored and played good and brought our best defense (as well)," Harris said. "It's good for practice and (preparation) for the harder games. We're feeling state-championship good this year, so (we need every chance to improve we can get)."
Early County (1-1) did make a push in the fourth, though, going on a 9-0 run behind center Shay Williams, who finished with team highs of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The game was 38-20 Bainbridge with 5:30 left, but that's when Lady Bearcats coach Latreisha Moon brought her starters back into the game and they regained control.
The Lady Bearcats play again on Dec. 28 in the McDonald's Invitational Classic in Tifton when they face Lowndes, while Early doesn't play again until Jan. 4 against Thomasville.