Dontavious Marshall scored 27 points to lead Bainbridge to a huge win against rival Seminole County on Friday.
DONALSONVILLE — They call him “Stank,” but everything Dontavious Marshall did Friday night came up smelling like a victory.
It was Marshall who took over early and late and led Bainbridge to a 70-55 win against Seminole County in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Jesse McLeod Gym, where Marshall opened the night with a 3 and just kept coming.
By the time he was finished, he had a career-high 27 points, and Bainbridge had a win in one of the best rivalries in Southwest Georgia.
Marshall, who is the younger brother of Devon Baulkmon, who led Bainbridge to the Final Four a couple of years ago, said he was ready for Seminole.
“I know them. I play AAU ball with them, and they were talking all that noise this summer,’’ Marshall said. “They were talking about how they were going to lock me down. We had to show them. I was ready, ready for this game.”
Marshall busted three treys in the first quarter and dropped in 13 points to not only set the tone of the game, but to quiet a packed house that came to see Seminole step up against their bigger rival to the south. The Indians (9-2) have emerged as a Class A power, and a victory against Class AAAAA Bainbridge, which is ranked No. 5 in The Herald Fab 5 Poll, would have meant a lot to the program and the rivalry.
But Marshall, who said he got the nickname “Stank” when he was a baby, lifted the Bearcats (6-3) early, and finished with five treys.
“He was the difference,” said Seminole County coach Kevin Godwin, whose team has lost only twice this season and both times to Class AAAAA teams. “He was outstanding. He was the difference maker. He killed us. He knocked down one shot after another.’’
Marshall’s fast start gave Bainbridge a 23-17 lead at the quarter, and the Bearcats built the cushion to 39-28 by halftime.
Marshall went to halftime with 19 points, and Seminole never recovered. The Indians kept cutting the lead down to nine or 10 points, but never could find the run they needed.
“We just never could get into a rhythm,” Godwin said. “We never could get those two or three baskets in a row. In a big game like this, a rivalry game with a big crowd like this, the first few minutes of the game are really big. They (Bainbridge) really played well, and when they got the lead early it kind of took our crowd out of it.”
Seminole County forced 22 turnovers and had chances, but Bainbridge always had an answer.
“I thought the difference was our seniors,’’ Bainbridge coach Ricky McCullough said. “They Seminole County) are young. They’ve got three freshmen, but they play well. In a big game like this with a big crowd like this, I think the difference was our experience.
“He (Marshall) came out and hit some shots,’’ he added. “He (Marshall) comes up here and plays with (Seminole’s players) so they all know each other. But I thought one of the big differences was that we got back and made them play us 5-on-5. We’re not big. We don’t have that 6-5 kid, but I like our quickness.”
The rivalry made the win special for Bainbridge, which had played half its first eight games against schools from Florida.
“You don’t have to get them up for this game,’’ McCullough said. “I hope they get up for Miller County (tonight). I hope they get up for the rest of the year.”
McCullough’s teams always seem to play better as the season progresses and his kids have put together some 20-plus game winning streaks to finish strong in recent years. The Bearcats might be on the verge of just that kind of run after this big victory. They simply wouldn’t break.
Tyree Crump, a freshman, had a big second half and finished with 15 points, and Jamez Harris gave Bainbridge an inside presence all night and finished with 10 points, including a big put-back at the first half buzzer that lifted Bainbridge to an 11-point lead.
“We were doing a lot of good things an getting turnovers in the last few minutes of the half,” Godwin said. “But we couldn’t close it, and then he (Harris) gets that big basket right at the buzzer and it just seemed to take away our momentum. The first few minutes of the game were big, and the last two-to-three minutes in the first half were big.”
Seminole was led by John Hudson, who came off the bench and hit four treys and finished with 13 points. Robert Speights scored 11and Jakhari Martin added nine points for the Indians.
Seminole plays at Baker next Tuesday and faces defending Region 1-A champ Mitchell County at Seminole next Friday in a huge game. Bainbridge plays at Miller County tonight.
Brown leads Seminole girls to 66-41 win against Bainbridge
DONALSONVILLE — It didn’t take long for Katrese Brown to get hot, and the rest of the Seminole County Lady Indians followed her lead Friday as they ran away from Bainbridge, 66-41,in the Jesse McLeod Gym, where the stands starting filling up about as fast as Brown was filling the basket.
It was all Seminole on a night when the mercy rule was used in a shortened six-minute fourth quarter. Seminole led 61-22 after three against a young Bainbridge team (1-9) that has been hit hard with injuries this season.
Brown dropped in 12 first-quarter points to ignite the Lady Indians, who ran out to a 22-9 first-quarter lead and led 39-14 at halftime, thanks in part to three treys from Brown, a slick point guard who ran the offense.
“I told her before the game that she needed to be more aggressive,” Seminole County coach Wes Williams said. “And she was. She scored 12 points in the first quarter. We’ve had quarters when the team didn’t score 12 points.’’
Brown said she got the message.
“I’m going to be more aggressive,” she said. “That’s a promise. This is my senior year and we have dedicated the season to coach McLeod (who lost his battle with cancer in August), so we are giving it everything. I know I have to be more aggressive, and I will. That’s a promise. You can write it down.”
The Lady Indians (6-3), who have lost twice to Herald No. 2 Pelham, a Class AA power, look to be a force in the Region 1-A race, and the one-sided win against Class AAAAA Bainbridge is just another example of the kind of season they’re having
Brown, who had 15 points at halftime, finished with 17 points. Alexus Watson had 10 points, and Dejah Martin came off the bench to score 10 points for Seminole. Patrice Barnes (7 points) and Candice Barber (6 points) also had big games for the Lady Indians.
Bainbridge’s Alex Carter hit five 3-pointers and scored 14 of her team-high 17 points in the second half for the Lady Bearcats.
Seminole returns to Region 1-A play next week with a game at Baker County on Tuesday and a Region 1-A South showdown at Mitchell County next Friday. Bainbridge plays at Miller County tonight.