Varsity boys action, Calhoun claws back but falls to Central 76-70

Published 2:08 am Sunday, January 12, 2014

By Fred Guarino

What started out as a sure runway victory by the Central High Lions in Hayneville turned into a real cat fight down the stretch Saturday night as the Central varsity boys eked out a 76-70 region victory or their arch rival Calhoun Tigers.

A capacity crowd of about 500 were treated to a clean sweep by the Lions as the Central junior varsity boys defeated Calhoun 54-52, and the Central varsity girls defeated Calhoun 56-49.

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“Well, I’m glad we won the game, but at the same time, this gave us a shot of reality, which I have been talking to the guys about the entire time,” said Central head basketball coach Toriano Baker.

The Central varsity boys led Calhoun 24-10 at the end of the first quarter and by a margin of 42-33 at the half.

But it was a one point Central edge at the end of three periods 58-57. And Calhoun actually grabbed the lead a few times in the fourth period, the last of which was a 66-65 led with 4:10 left in the game.

But getting to the charity stripe as the game wound down, gave the edge to Central.

Baker said his squad could run with the best of teams, but has to “slow down and actually think the game when it is critical.”

He said it helped his team to slow down and pick its spots against Calhoun because Central and Calhoun both have high-powered offenses and just as good athletes.

He said in the end, “I would guess we grew up a little bit in the last three minutes of the game.”

Leading the way for Central were Marcus Mitchell with 20 points, Edmond Johnson with 19 points and T.J. Saffold with 10 points.

Baker said he felt Calvin Harris, who recently became eligible, gave the Lions great spark hitting for eight straight points in the game.

Calhoun head basketball coach Jim Hunter said his team “just kept playing.”

After his team lost to Central by 20 points the week prior, Hunter said Saturday night, “I feel that we got a little bit more momentum as a team, plus we found out which players are going to hustle even when things go bad.”

Hunter said he felt Jamine Jordan, Jakeem Davison and Christopher Mormon stepped up for the Tigers.

Jordan led the Tigers with 26 points while Jamarcus Davison had 17 and Jakeem Davison scored 10.

The loss dropped Calhoun to 8-9 overall and 0-3 in region play.

Central improved to 11-6, 3-0.

In girls action Calhoun was led by Valenciya Allen with 18 points. Central was led by T. McGhee with 17, F. Brown with 13 and K. McPherson with 10.

The Central girls improved to 11-6 over all, as well.

In junior varsity boys action, Calhoun was led by Darrell Haygood with 20 while Central was led by Tariq Aaron with 18 points.

In more recent action, in a contest played at Central on Jan. 13, the Lions defeated the Greenville varsity boys 60-51.
Game played @ Central.

That game improved Central to 12-6 on the season.

Top scorers for Central were Markeazz Holcombe, Mitchell and Johnson with 16 points each.

The Central girls also defeated Greevnille 45-40 to improve to 12-6 on the season.

Gs K. McPherson led the Central girls with 24 points.