Region 5-AA basketball tournament: Jordan, Kendrick boys advance to semifinals

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerFebruary 14, 2013 

With the score tied heading into the final quarter and their season on the line, the Kendrick boys basketball team appeared to turn into a new team completely.

In reality, Cherokees coach Collins Jones said, they just focused on being themselves.

Whatever happened worked, as Kendrick erupted for a 74-61 win over Bowdon on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Jordan High to advance to the Region 5-AA semifinals. Having already clinched one of the regions four state playoff berths, it will face Spencer at 8:30 Friday, Feb. 15.

“We just tried to do Kendrick,” Jones said after the game. “I told the guys, if we can just be Kendrick, we’ll be fine.”

That seemed to do the trick in the final frame as the Cherokees scored 30 points as a team, 15 of which came from leading scorer Christian Bradford.

With the score at 53-50 with just under four minutes remaining in the game, Bradford knocked down a three-pointer to extend the lead to six. That shot seemed to knock the lid off for the Cherokees, who scored 18 points over the final three minutes, 45 seconds.

“We just went on a run,” said Bradford, who tallied 28 points in the game. “We stressed defense and turned turnovers into some points. If you can’t stop anybody, you can’t win games.”

That was the key, Jones said.

“We really tried to turn it up,” he said. “We didn’t feel like they could handle our pressure, so we started to turn it up on defense. They have an excellent perimeter game, so we wanted to press the ball, cause some turnovers, and turn that into fast transition points.”

Marquis Bonner added 18 points for Kendrick in the game. Bowdon was led with 23 points from Juwan Maze.

Now, Kendrick must play the top-seeded team in the region in Spencer. A win there would clinch one of the top two seeds for the state tournament.

Spencer has already beaten Kendrick twice this season, but Jones and Bradford both indicated the team is ready to flip the script.

“We’ve worked very hard and put in countless hours,” Jones said. “If we can eliminate our worst enemy — Kendrick — we’ll be alright.”

Jordan boys 64, Chattahoochee County 49

Behind the hot second-half shooting of Jamar Sheppard, the Red Jackets clinched another playoff berth with a 64-49 win over Chattahoochee County.

With the win, Jordan moves on to the region semifinals where they will face Manchester at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15. Chattahoochee County’s season is over.

Sheppard scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including a period where he scored 13 straight points for the Red Jackets.

During that period, Jordan turned a sizeable, but not yet comfortable 10-point lead into a 25-point lead that Chattahoochee County could not overcome.

“I thought we made great adjustments in the second half,” Jordan coach Gerald Turner said. “First half, we like to feel the other team out and see how they’re going to play us. In the second half, we like to make our adjustments. I thought these kids did a great job of that.”

Tony Palmer added 16 points for Jordan, and Demetrius Daniels had 13. Cory Dixon and Javaris Jones led the Panthers with 18 and 10 points, respectively.

Bowdon girls 56, Spencer 43

The Spencer girls basketball season came to an end with a 56-43 loss to Bowdon in the Region 5-AA girls tournament at Jordan High.

While the Lady Greenwave kept pace with Bowdon for the first two quarters of the game, trailing just 25-24 at the half, they were outscored by 10 points in the third and never could muster the offense it took to recover.

Spencer took a brief lead in the third quarter, knocking down a three-pointer to open the action. The two teams stayed within one point of each other until the final four minutes of the game. During a three-minute period beginning with three minutes, 54 seconds left, Bowdon outscored Spencer 9-0 to build up a 10-point lead. It led by 11 after three, and Spencer never could recover.

Spencer was led by 17 points from Alexus Griffin and 13 from Miara Elmore. Bowdon, which had nine players score, was led by Jacory Stephens (14 points) and Whitney McClure (10 points).

Manchester girls 55, Heard County 52

The Manchester girls basketball team escaped a close game against Heard County on Thursday, Feb. 14, winning 55-52 at Jordan High in the Region 5-AA girls tournament.

With the win, it advances to the region semifinals where it will meet Kendrick at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. The win also clinched a berth in the GHSA Class AA playoffs.

Manchester was led by Deundra Copeland (16 points), Shakierra Copeland (14 points) and Ternazha McGruder (10 points).

David Mitchell, 706-571-8571. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.

Manchester girls 55, Heard County 52

Thursday at Jordan

Manchester 13 13 6 23—55

Heard County 18 5 13 16—52

Manchester (55)

D. Copeland 16, S. Copeland 14, McGruder 10, Dunlap 9, Bowles 2, Tucker 2, Searcy 2.

Heard County (52)

Cook 26, Parks 8, Watson 5, Whitehead 5, Emory 4, Brewer 2, Hill 2.

Records: Manchester, 10-12; Heard County, 11-11. Next: Manchester, Friday vs. Kendrick; Heard County, season over.

Kendrick boys 74, Bowdon 61

Thursday at Jordan

Bowdon 22 5 17 17—61

Kendrick 17 11 16 30—74

Bowdon (61)

Maze 23, Thurman 13, Brewer 11, Keith 9, Mann 2, Springer 2, Jordan 1.

Kendrick (74)

Bradford 28, Bonner 18, Hampton 11, Griffin 10, Parker 7.

Records: Bowdon, 11-12; Kendrick, 9-16. Next: Bowdon, season over; Kendrick, Friday vs. Spencer.

Bowdon girls 56, Spencer 43

Thursday at Jordan

Bowdon 18 7 19 12—56

Spencer 13 11 9 10—43

Bowdon (56)

Stephens 14, McClure 10, Phillips 8, Brewer 8, Boddie 6, Buchanan 3, Brown 3, Brock 2, Maze 2.

Spencer (43)

Griffin 17, Elmore 13, Walmsley 9, Thomas 4.

Records: Bowdon, 14-8; Spencer 10-16. Next: Bowdon, Friday vs. Bremen; Spencer, season over.

Jordan boys 64, Chattahoochee County 49

Thursday at Jordan

ChattCo 9 16 11 13—49

Jordan 18 18 19 9—64

ChattCo (49)

Dixon 18, Jav. Jones 10, Jam. Jones 6, Lee 6, Cox 5.

Jordan (64)

Sheppard 22, Palmer 16, Daniels 13, Smith 7, Glenn 4, Hill 2.

Records: ChattCo, 6-18; Jordan, 16-6. Next: ChattCo, season over; Jordan, Friday vs. Manchester.

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