Thursday, February 19, 2009
Cardinals stay alive
By BARRY BURLESON
The Potts Camp Cardinals lived to play another day when the Region 3-1A Tournament was said and done.
The Cards routed West Union in round one to secure a North Half berth and then lost to Hickory Flat and Myrtle. They entered the next round of the postseason Tuesday, traveling to Wheeler. Potts Camp (16-15) was a fourth seed and Wheeler a one seed from its district.
“We survived and we’re still playing,” head coach Brian Smith said Sunday afternoon. “We’re excited about it.”
Potts Camp lit up the scoreboard February 10 in round one of the district tourney. They eased by West Union 88-37.
LaDarrius Beard and Lavonte Richmond combined to score almost half those points - Beard with 21 and Richmond with 20. Others in double digits were Johnathan Falkner with 16 and Jeremy Siggers with 12.
The Cardinals’ lead was 26-8 after just one quarter.
“We just overmatched West Union like we did in the regular season,” Smith said.
Potts Camp dug itself a hole Thursday night and fought hard to get out but couldn’t make it. The Cardinals fell to the host school, Hickory Flat, 61-52.
Smith’s squad fell behind 12-0 and trailed 16-3 after one quarter.
“We couldn’t buy a bucket,” he said.
The deficit went to 19-3 before Chad Randolph provided some spark off the bench. Potts Camp got to within 10 but trailed 30-16 at the half.
The third quarter was all Cardinals. Beard’s three at the 4:29 mark pulled them within 30-25. They pulled within one twice in the third but couldn’t get over the hump. The Rebels were up 37-34 after three quarters.
The Cardinals actually took their first lead of the game early in the fourth, 38-37, thanks to pressure defense and an ensuing basket by Korbin Smith. Falkner drained three threes later in the fourth but at the 3:31 mark the Cards still trailed at 50-49.
Hickory Flat tucked the win away down the stretch.
“We really worked our tails off to get back in it,” Smith said. “We spent a lot of energy and just couldn’t pull it out.”
Falkner scored 17, Richmond 13 and Beard 12.
For Hickory Flat, Caleb Van Tassell had 14, Terry Lee 11, Tavis Bell 11 and Tyler Reed 10.
In the consolation round Friday, the Cardinals dropped a 67-54 decision to Myrtle.
“Both teams, being the third day of the tournament, were flat,” Smith said. “It was a war of attrition.”
He said his team experienced foul trouble, with two starters fouling out.
“We were juggling different lineups, and it was hard to get into a rhythm,” Coach Smith said.
Potts Camp led 27-26 at the half but got outscored 23-9 in the third quarter.
Falkner scored 19.
Class 1A North Half play goes to a central location Thursday-Saturday. The top three move on to the State Tournament.
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