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Devils ‘style, profile’to title

Devils ‘style, profile’to title
Devils ‘style, profile’to title

South Fulton’s Jacoby Garmon drives to the basket during Thursday’s Area 5 Tournament championship game.
Pro wrestler Ric Flair says, “To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.”
If that’s the case, the South Fulton boys can let out a resounding “Woo-o-o-o” like the “Nature Boy” does.
The Red Devils dethroned two-time and defending Area 5 Tournament champion Paris Inman with a 49-45 triumph in the event’s final Thursday evening in Martin.
In the opener, the Black Oak girls felt defeat for the first time this season after a 54-21 defeat to Martin and rookie head coach Bethany Palmer, a 2003 graduate of Obion County Central.
The Lady Eagles had to make due without point guard and long-range shooting threat Darcey Jones for all of the second half and part of the second quarter.
Jones, who was BO’s leading scorer in the other two Area 5 Tournament games, attempted to play through the pain of a compound fracture in her left wrist.
Black Oak plays Middleton on Saturday afternoon at 1:40 in the TMSAA West Sectional — the equivalent of a state tournament for middle school and junior high teams — at Lake County
Martin battles St. Mary’s at 4:20 the same day.
The Union City girls are also competing at the West Sectional — slated to battle Corry at 7 Saturday night.
On the boys’ side, SF plays next on Tuesday against the winner of Saturday’s contest between the host Falcons and Lester.
Inman, the defending West Sectional champion, also moves forward to meet Riverview on Saturday at 3 p.m.
SF 49, Paris Inman 45 (B)
Red Devil coach Jeremy McFarland gave Inman their just due after Thursday’s contest.
“We were the No. 1 seed, but I think they had to be the favorite because of their recent history,” he said. “We knew Inman was going to attack the rim a lot and I think we did a good job of keeping them away from second and third chances in the second half.
“Every time I’ve challenged this team, they’ve stepped up and tonight was no exception.”
The victory gives South Fulton a 21-0 record and its first Area 5 crown. SF had lost on the four other occasions when it advanced to this juncture of the postseason.
The game’s turning point was undoubtedly in the third quarter.
After each team scored just four points in the first three minutes of the second half, the Red Devils caught fire with a 12-2 run that helped the county locals to an eventual 37-30 advantage.
Harrison Hawks had the first five points of that spurt, while Kyle Watkins put in the final seven markers of the stretch.
Watkins topped the scoring summary for South Fulton with 14, while KeShawn McManus also hit in twin figures with 10.
Hawks finished a point shy of double digits with nine, four assists and three steals, while Jacoby Garmon totaled eight and four rebounds.
Clint Wells was also key for SF during a dry spell in the first quarter, hitting a pair of key 3-pointers to give the Red Devils some much-needed momentum.
Brandon Donaldson was the game’s top individual contributor with 21 for Paris Inman (13-3).
After the game, Hawks, Garmon, Watkins and Tymaine Strickland were all honored as members of the event’s All-Tournament team.
Martin 54, Black Oak 21 (G)
Jones proved to have the heart of a champion in her coach’s eyes even if her team did wind up with the silver trophy.
“I’m proud of Darcey for stepping up and trying to play as injured as she was,” Lady Eagles’ coach Mack Pirtle said. “The effort was there to perform as she has all year, but her injury wouldn’t let her.”
On the other bench, the talented Lady Panthers (18-2) had few performance issues, clicking like a well-oiled machine and besting BO 10-5 in the first quarter, 19-7 in the second, 14-6 in the third and 11-3 in the fourth.
Black Oak (17-1) was paced by Dianna Flippen’s seven-point effort, while Jones scored five before she came out of the game midway through the second period.
Hannah Watkins led BO in the rebounding department with six boards.
Martin had Kaley Leyhue with a game-high 20 points.
Jones, Flippen and Watkins all were named to the All-Tournament team.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at

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