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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK/ROUNDUP: Respect on rise for Lee County boys hoops team; Sherwood honors Stanford milestone before home win

Patrick Stanford, seen here during a Sherwood practice earlier this season, was honored Thursday night before the Eagles' game against Tiftarea for hitting the 1,000-point milestone in a win against Terrell Academy last week.

Patrick Stanford, seen here during a Sherwood practice earlier this season, was honored Thursday night before the Eagles' game against Tiftarea for hitting the 1,000-point milestone in a win against Terrell Academy last week.

Sherwood boys wallop Tiftarea, honor Stanford for 1,000-point milestone

ALBANY — Patrick Stanford, Sherwood’s leading scorer, was honored at halftime of the girls basketball game Thursday night for reaching the 1,000-point milestone last week in a game against Terrell Academy.

Stanford then went out and dropped 20 on Tiftarea in a 58-36 win.

“It was a nice moment,” SCA head coach Camarlos Jackson said. “We announced it, walked out to the center of the court with the principal and handed him a ball with the words, ‘1,000’ written on it and the date he did it.”

Stanford also became the school’s all-time leading rebounder this year with 423, breaking the old mark of 371.

T.J. Clay added 14 points in the win for Sherwood, which improved to 13-9 overall and 3-3 in region play.

Sherwood hosts SGA tonight.

TIFTAREA GIRLS 49, SHERWOOD CHRISTIAN 33: Sherwood was led by Madison Walker, who dropped in 14 points, and Key’yada Thomas, who added eight points in a tough loss in a non-region game to Tiftarea on Thursday night.

The Lady Eagles (8-12) will be at home tonight to face Southwest Georgia Academy at 6:30 p.m.

BAINBRIDGE — Everywhere you look there is a growing respect for Lee County's boys basketball team, which is trying to make it to the state playoffs for the first time since 2007.

The Trojans hadn't won a region game in more than five years, but they are the only team in Region 1-AAAAA to beat Bainbridge (6-1 in the region) this season — and, ironically, the only program to beat the Bearcats in region play the last five years. And they took Bainbridge to overtime Tuesday night on the Bearcats’ home floor before losing, 63-58.

“They’re a good team. They play hard. They compete,” Bainbridge star guard Dontavious Marshall said after the win. “They weren’t like this last year. That’s the best Lee County team I have seen.”

Bainbridge coach Rickey McCullough said after the win that he would rather not see Lee County again because the Trojans are just that good and played his team tough in both games — a one-point win in Leesburg and Tuesday's loss in OT.

“I hope we stay away from them. They match up with us real well,’’ said McCullough, whose team is No. 5 in The Herald Fab 5 Poll and in first place in Region 1-AAAAA with a 6-1 record. “We’ve had two real good games against them. They play hard. (First-year head) coach (Kirven) Davis has done a great job with them.’’

Davis was proud of his kids after the loss and praised their effort and tenacity — especially at Bainbridge, where the Bearcats have been almost unbeatable for years.

“To come in this place and (play them that close) is a major step in the right direction,’’ said Davis, who took over a program this year that won just four games last season. “The whole crew gave a great effort. They’re all in.’’

Davis has told his kids they can get to the state playoffs, and they believe in their coach. The Trojans are 3-4 in the region, but more importantly they are playing better every week down the stretch and look to be a dangerous team when the region tournament comes in two weeks.

Lee County has weapons everywhere, including Jaysyn Brown, who scored 25 against Bainbridge on Tuesday, along with Aaron May, who ignited Lee in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points against the Bearcats, and Stephen Collier, the talented Trojans quarterback who has emerged as an inside presence for Lee County on the court.

BIG DADDY: It's going to be a whirlwind week for McCullough, who is rushing to Charlotte, N.C., to be there for the birth of his first grandchild, and then he’s coming back to Bainbridge for the Bearcats' games this weekend.

McCullough is pretty exited about being a grandfather. He just hasn't decided on what he wants to be called.

"I don't know, maybe, ‘Big Daddy,’ ” he joked after Tuesday’s game against Lee.

The guess is Big Daddy will buy the new baby a purple basketball jersey.

McCullough's team is playing well and is atop the Region 1-AAAAA standings at 6-1 with three games left. Bainbridge will host the upcoming region tournament regardless of where the Bearcats finish. That deal was struck before the season started — and why not? Bainbridge has the best high school gym in Southwest Georgia. It's not only gorgeous, but it’s also incredibly spacious.

McCullough has had so many great teams at Bainbridge, including back-to-back trips to the Final Four in 2009 and 2010, but this might be his best coaching job yet. The Bearcats do not have a big man inside and don't have a superstar. And yet, despite being undersized and looking for ways to win, Bainbridge is 15-4 with a gutsy, overachieving team that believes in the program and McCullough.

Comments

dmyers80 1 year, 10 months ago

WOW... Only in the Albany herald, They can make a Lee County loss sound GOOD!!! Now, In all fairness, they did do the same thing when Westover lost to Tift County...by 10 points.

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