Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

January 23, 2013

Marion sweeps Schley on South Georgia Tech appreciation night in Buena Vista

Scott Phillips
The Americus Times-Recorder

BUENA VISTA — On South Georgia Tech Appreciation night in Buena Vista the Marion County Lady Eagles and Eagles put on a show for their guests from the local technical college. In the first game, the Lady Eagles used a huge first and fourth quarter to pull away from the Lady ‘Cats of Schley, and the Eagles followed with a huge second half run to stretch out their 10 point halftime lead and claim the season sweep after defeating Schley earlier this season.

The Lady Eagles of Marion got the night started off hot by coming out of the gate with an 18-9 first period run. The second period was more competitive, and after falling behind by 12 points, Trenity Coleman would sink a shot to pull the Lady Wildcats within 10 points of the Lady Eagle lead. Unfortunately for Schley County this is as close as they would come to gaining the lead for the remainder of the game as Marion scored eight unanswered points to lengthen their halftime lead to 40-25.

After exiting the locker room following the halftime break, the Lady Eagles used a big third quarter from Chelsy Haynes to lengthen their lead even more to 58-35 and put the game out of reach for the Lady ‘Cats. Despite the big lead, the Lady Eagles would keep the defensive pressure on and hold Schley County to only two fourth quarter points, on a shot by Mackenzie Smith, while scoring 17 points on offense to claim the 38 point win 75-37.

Junior guard Jada Gardner showed off her sharp-shooting abilities with an incredible 25 point night, and two other Lady Eagles finished with double-doubles in the win. Junior Chelsy Haynes sank 16 points while pulling down an astonishing 18 rebounds, and sophomore forward Aisha Ansley scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Aiyanna Crumbley also scored 10 points for the Lady Eagles.

During the intermission between games Marion County Athletic Director David Wells asked members of the South Georgia Technical College staff to come to the scorers table. Wells then awarded the faculty two plaques in recognition of their generous donations to the Eagles athletic program. “Their contributions to our school allowed us to help pay for our scoreboards and scorers table, and we are very appreciative of their generous contributions,” Wells said.

Following the presentation, the Marion County and Schley County boys took the court to begin warming up for a competitive and entertaining basketball game. The border rivals met at center court for the opening tip and the guy’s game was under way.

The contest started off as a very close affair with Markeese Bridges, DeMarquez Mallard, and Trae Swanson giving the Eagles and early 7-0 lead. Kelsey Soloman of Schley would get the Wildcats scoring going, and after ending the period on a 4-0 run the Wildcats of Schley trailed only 13-10. For the Eagles, Swanson sank nine of the team’s 13 first quarter points on three three-pointers to help his team claim the early lead.

The second period was also a very tight affair with Marion and Schley trading baskets throughout the quarter. Bridges would sink three free throws and a mid-range two-pointer to close out the period, giving the Eagles a 34-24 advantage as the game reached its halfway point.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the third period would not be as kind to them as they fell into a hole that was too deep to climb out of. After trading baskets to a 38-28 score, Marion County began an impressive 18-2 run to close out the third period and claim a dominating 56-30 advantage going into the final period. Despite being outscored 22-13 in the final quarter, the Eagles had plenty of points on the board to cruise to the 69-52 Region 4-A victory.

Freshman Lorenzo Smothers had another terrific night and led the Eagles in scoring with 13 points. Swanson finished the night with 11 points for the Eagles, and teammate Jalen Brown added 10 points. For Schley County, senior Kelsey Solomon led the way with 21 points, followed by Tra Minter with 14 and Dexter Mason with seven.

Marion County will be back on the road tomorrow night as they travel to Greenville for a crucial Region 4-A double header. The Wildcats and Lady Wildcats will return home tomorrow night in another Region 4-A contest against Pacelli. Both girl’s games will begin at 6 p.m., followed immediately by the boy’s games.