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Dougherty's Gaines, Bainbridge's Thomas shine at inaugural SW Ga. Senior Showcase; Turner Job Corps' Gulley wins dunk contest

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Don't bring that mess to our city.

That's what the Albany All-Star boys team told the Southwest Georgia All-Stars after they reigned supreme in the inaugural Southwest Georgia High School Senior Showcase on Friday at ASU, following a second-half explosion en route to an 84-62 thrashing.

Dougherty's McArthur Gaines led all scorers in the game with 16 points, including 10 in the second half and was named the all-star game's MVP.

Most of Gaines' points came during a 10-2 run that put the Albany All-Stars up, 43-37, with 16:28 in the second half after they had gone into halftime down, 35-33.

"I was hesitant in the first half," said Gaines who also won the 3-point shooting contest, which was held during halftime. "But I saw that I was hitting in the 3-point contest and it just boosted my confidence."

In the first half when Gaines had his moments of hesitation, his teammate and fellow Herald Super 6er Malcolm Sapp from Westover was there to pick up the slack, leading all scorers at the half with seven points, including a facial dunk over Thomas County Central's Tramell Anderson. Sapp's big jam sparked a 6-2 run that the Albany All-Stars used to cut into the Southwest Georgia All-Stars lead with 3:23 left in the half.

Although Tift County's Breon Dixon led the Southwest Georgia All-Stars with 10 points, it was Terrell County's Terrell Hall who put Southwest Georgia up, 29-23, at the 8:30 in the first half with three baskets and two steals within a two-minute span.

But that was the last time the kids outside of Albany had control of the game.

Dougherty High's Tim Washington was the only other players in double figures with 10 for the Albany All-Stars.

"It was a wonderful event," said Southwest Georgia head coach Marcus Shaw, who coaches at Calhoun County. "A lot of time, especially from small schools, you really don't get a chance to be seen but showcases like this is definitely big for our kids."

The Albany All-Stars were coached by the Dougherty legend Charlie Givens, who was given a tribute at halftime.

"We probably ended up with about 2,000 fans, which is a great turnout," said Earnest Brown, who organized the showcase. "We look forward to doing it again next year.

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SW GEORGIA GIRLS ROLL BY ALBANY:

Bainbridge's April Thomas shined for the Southwest Georgia girls All-Stars with a game-high 23 points as her team rolled past the Albany girls All-Star team, 69-55.

"It was fun," Thomas said. "It's always good to come out and play with different people."

Chattahoochee County's Akeyvya Jones led the Albany All-Stars with 14 points.

Thomas shined all game with 11 points in the first half, including a buzzer beater 3-pointer that gave SW Ga. breathing room, 33-27, heading into halftime after it had blown a 22-10 lead with 8:05 left in the half. In the second half, Thomas went on a personal 8-0 run that made the score 56-34 as her team never looked back.

"I told them in the locker room that we have a lot of talent on our team (and we should win)," said Southwest Georgia coach Latreisha Moon, who coaches at Bainbridge.