SYLVESTER— Though Herald Super 6er Jabari McGhee had his usual big game Saturday night, he gave all the credit to his teammates after this one -- and with good reason. He and a shorthanded Monroe Tornadoes squad were able to fight off a scrappy bunch from Worth County on the road, 51-47.
The Tornadoes (21-3, 14-0) were still trying to get rid of the bad taste of a loss to Terrell County last weekend, and would happen upon even more adversity in Sylvester.
“We normally dress out more players on the road, but we only brought nine tonight. We had six players stay home, so the guys who played tonight were the most disciplined on the team,” Monroe coach Marquis Davis said.
The Tornadoes led the entire game, even though their biggest lead was 10 points.
It seemed every time Worth County got a run going, McGhee would make a play, whether it was snatching a defensive rebound, blocking a shot or catching an alley-oop.
However, after a few turnovers, Worth County guard Timothy Gaint drained a 3-pointer to cut the lead to two points with just under six minutes left in regulation. On the next possession, David Tolbert sunk a 20-footer from the top of the key to tie the game with 5:23 on the clock, and all of a sudden, we had a game on our hands.
Despite their inexperience, the reserve Tornadoes definitely heeded their coach’s message. After a Monroe timeout, Dontale Cooper found an open Darien Anderson, who hit a contested three to put Monroe up six. Before the Rams had a chance to make it a one-possession game, he broke in front of a pass and was fouled on the ensuing fast break before he could put the game away with an exclamation point with less than two minutes left on the clock.
“We needed that loss last week,” said McGhee afterwards. “We were on a big winning streak, so that loss to Terrell got us humble. But the guys you saw making plays tonight, most of those were bench players. I didn’t have to tell my teammates that much. They stepped up big tonight; they made plays, hit big shots when we needed them. They did all that on their own.”
McGhee finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and three blocks.
Brandon Moore led the Rams with 14 points and four rebounds.
Davis was pleased with his star player’s performance, especially amidst the recent adversity.
“We’ve talked about that for the past two games,” Davis said. “He’s taken a couple of games off, and for us to win he can never take a game off. He had an off game against Terrell and we lost that, he had another off game last night against Albany High. But he came to play (Saturday) night like a senior, and he led his team to victory.”
The Tornadoes finish the regular season undefeated in region play.
Seminole boys rout Bainbridge
DONALSONVILLE — Jordan Harris led Seminole to a 74-52 win against Bainbridge with 20 points in Saturday’s regular season finale, while Jamarkus Gray and Jamal Martin each scored 13 and Chavon Wiggins added 10.
Bainbridge, which finished the season 16-8, was led by Tyree Crump and Stephen Johnson, who each scored 13.
The Bearcats open the Region 1-AAAAA tournament Wednesday at home against Harris County.
Seminole County (18-5) opens the Region 1-A tournament Tuesday in Camilla against either Miller County or Baker County.
PELHAM GIRLS 45, BROOKS 20: Herald Super 6er Briunna Freeman scored 16 and Hillary Williams finished with 14 to help the Herald No. 4 Lady Hornets finish 22-3 overall and 11-1 in Region 1-AA.
Pelham finished tied for first in the region with Thomasville, and a coin flip today will decide the No.1 seed.
Lee County sends record 7 to state meet
ALLATOONA — Tom Matheny was hoping this might be a special year for his Lee County wrestlers, and his kids took another step toward that goal on Saturday when Lee qualified seven wrestlers for next week’s Class AAAAA state meet.
“It’s the most we’ve ever had qualify for state,’’ said Matheny, who took five to state last year. “We were pleased with what the guys did. They competed well. We have some good matchups at state next week.’’
Lee has never sent more than five to the state meet.
“I feel good,’’ said Matheny, who took over the program three years ago and has seen his kids dominate the region tournament for three consecutive years. Matheny believes this year’s team has a chance to finish in the top 20 at state, which would be another benchmark for Lee County. Sending seven to state makes another statement for the program.
“It’s good to see improvement every year,” Matheny said. “It kind of justifies what you’re doing.”
Alex Davis (132) finished second in the sectionals and Devon Yelverton (138) and Colton Grove (220) took third place. The top eight wrestlers qualify for the state meet.
Lamar Wynn (126), Kyler Morgan (145) and Chris Rapley (152) finished sixth and Collins Tensley (182) took seventh to qualify for the state meet.
There are no team points in the sectionals.