Hurricanes hitting their stride with second straight win

Published 2:15 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – The Georgia Southwestern State men’s basketball team defeated Young Harris College (YHC) 86-76 Monday night at the Storm Dome to win its second straight Peach Belt Conference game of the season.

With the win, the Hurricanes are now 6-10 overall and 2-6 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the Mountain Lions fall to 3-15 on the season and are still looking for their first PBC win at 0-9. The Hurricanes are currently in eighth place in the PBC standings and they are two games behind North Georgia, who sits in seventh place with a 4-4 PBC record.

GSW senior guard Jonathan King (#5) drives to the basket against YHC. King scored five points in the Hurricanes’ victory.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

While GSW Head Coach Aaron Coombs was happy with the victory, he was not pleased with how his team played at times during the game, especially on defense.

“We’re not in a position where we can be picky about wins so, I mean, we’ll take it however we can get it,” Coombs said. “Having said that, I’m not happy with how we played. We have to be better. I say this with respect to all of our opponents: You see why we struggle in the league. We can’t guard the ball. We can’t guard the basketball. We’re fortunate that we made a few more plays tonight than they did.”

The Hurricanes struggled early and trailed by five to start the game, but they turned it on after the early deficit and roared out to a 16-point lead in the first half.

GSW senior guard Kahlon Whitely (#21) scored nine points and dished out four assists in the Hurricanes’ victory over YHC.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The scoring in the first half was led by junior forward Kevin Kone, who went 6-7 and scored 15 points in the first half. The Mountain Lions had no answer for Kone in the paint in the first half and GSW went into halftime with a 46-34 lead.

However, GSW came out of the break sluggish and struggled throughout the rest of the game. YHC hung in there and cut the lead down to single digits multiple times in the second half.

However, the Mountain Lions got no further than an eight-point deficit due to timely baskets by the Hurricanes. Jarrett Adderton stepped up his game and led GSW in the second half as the YHC defense keyed in on keeping Kone out of the paint. Adderton led GSW in rebounds with nine and was second in points with 16, earning him Player of the Game honors. Late fouls sent GSW to the free throw line and multiple Hurricanes made their foul shots to ice the game.

GSW senior guard Donte Tatum (#23) drives into the lane against YHC. Tatum scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win over the Mountain Lions.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

In addition to Adderton’s 16 points, the Hurricanes had three other players score in double figures. Kone led GSW with 17 points, Donte Tatum poured in 13 and Jacorie Archie scored 10 in the winning cause.

GSW will head to Columbus on Wednesday, January 26, to take on the Cougars of Columbus State (13-4, 5-3 PBC). According to Coombs, toughness will decide the outcome of this game. “The key is going to be who’s tougher,” Coombs said. “They’re talented. They’re big. They’re athletic. It’s going to come down to rebounding. It’s going to come down to who can make some tough plays.” Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.