Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

January 5, 2013

Bridges’ 23 points lead Eagles to win over rivals

TALBOTTON — Any time a team takes on one of their most competitive rivals, they need a player or multiple players to really step up to have a chance to claim victory. On Friday night the Eagles got just that from senior Markeese Bridges who scored a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds to help his team claim a hard-fought 70-64 comeback victory on their rival Central Talbotton Hawks home court.

The Eagles fell behind early in the contest, but they never let the game get out of hand as they stayed within striking distance of the Hawks throughout the first half. Marion trailed Central Talbotton 11-10 after the first period, and the second period was more of the same as Marion fell behind 27-25 at the halftime break.

Marion County would use the halftime break as an opportunity to adjust to the Hawk attack and fine-tune their own offense.

In the third quarter the Eagles would begin their comeback, and after outscoring the Hawks 21-18 they found themselves with a one point, 46-45 lead entering the final period. Marion County would keep the pedal to the metal in the final quarter by scoring a remarkable 24 points while holding their opponent to just 19. The huge second half by Marion County would seal a 70-64 Region 4-A victory, that after the first half, appeared unlikely.

On a huge night for the Eagles team, several players stepped up and had big individual nights to help Marion County pull out the region victory. Following Bridges 23 points was Trae Swanson, who scored 20 points and added one assist and one steal. Freshman phenom Lorenzo Smothers had one of the most impressive nights of his young career, adding a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Swanson narrowly missed a triple-double after dishing out eight assists and stealing the ball from the Hawks seven times. Darryl Ragland added six points and six rebounds, and senior DeMarquez Mallard had two points, six rebounds and four assists.

The impressive comeback win for the Eagles put their season record at 6-3 overall, and pushed their Region 4-A record to 2-1 on the season. Marion County will be on the road for their next four games, starting with Hawkinsville on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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