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|Posted: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 5:12 pm |
South Fulton started the new year off with a bang.
South Fulton’s Taleeah Cross drives in during Tuesday evening’s triumph at home.
The Red Devil teams began the 2011 portion of their respective seasons with a pair of blowouts of Hickman County Tuesday night, exploding in the girls’ opener for an 80-39 win and running away in the boys’ nightcap with a 60-33 triumph.
Ironically, the results were similar to how SF closed out the 2010 half of the current campaign as each Big Red team beat the Falcons by double digits in the annual Martin Lions Club Christmas Tournament last week before the calendar turned.
The sophomore trio of Taleeah Cross, Laken Haley, Ka-Lon Martin and junior Cori Jo Edmison all scored in double figures and combined for 59 points in Game 1 as SF bolted from the starting blocks to a 29-3 lead in the first six minutes and then cruised.
The Red Devil boys, meanwhile, limited HC to 11 first-half points with some stingy defense and got 10 points from Jordan Davis over a three-minute span to close out the second quarter and win going away.
Both South Fulton teams now have modest three-game win streaks as they head into the meat portion of their District 14A schedule, which begins with a trip to Humboldt Friday night.
SF 80, Hickman Co. 39 (G)
Haley bottomed one of the Lady Devils’ eight 3-pointers in the first 30 seconds and SF scored the game’s first 10 points and never looked back to improve to 9-5.
Cross, who tallied a game-best 17 points, and Haley (16) each had nine first-quarter points for the Devilettes, who overwhelmed HC with fullcourt pressure that forced countless turnovers and provided for numerous easy offensive chances for the host team.
Both Edmison, who hit a trio of shots from beyond the arc on her way to a 12-point showing, and Savannah Larson bottomed treys late in the opening frame after a Paxton Sisson free throw to stretch the difference to 34-7 at the end of the period.
South Fulton had 40 points on its side before nine minutes had been played and held a commanding 54-16 halftime lead after another Haley longball and a Martin layup just before the intermission — despite the fact that head coach Curt Lee backed out of his press early in the second quarter
The second half was a mere formality and the state-mandated 35-point mercy rule put into play a continously-running clock in the fourth quarter.
“Hopefully, we’ve got a little momentum now and that can give us a boost as we play some tougher people in our district,” Lee said afterward. “We shot the ball well tonight, and we’ve proven we can score.
“I wanted us to pay particular attention to our defense and rebounding in the second half of the season as those are concerns of mine as we play some more athletic teams in the next few weeks.”
SF 60, Hickman Co. 33 (B)
Like their female counterparts, the Redmen (8-7) have already surpassed last season’s win total in head coach Wes Miller’s first season.
The new SF skipper likes the way his troops are playing defensively after they totally took the Falcons out of anything they wanted to do on offense while forcing 26 turnovers.
“It’s a process, but we’re starting to learn how to play on defense. I believe we’re close to turning the corner,” Miller said after his team defeated HC for the second time in six days. “The kids played hard, and I was really pleased that we got several stops in a row when the game was still close in the first half.
“There will be lulls at some time in every game but, if we can continue to get some stops on defense, that will create some opportunities for us on the offensive end and make those lulls fewer.”
A pair of Harrison Hawks buckets and a pullup jumper by Davis helped SF score nine of the first quarter’s final 11 points for a 14-6 lead at the horn.
Montre Lewis converted a steal into a deuce to give the Devils their first double-figure lead two minutes into the second frame before Davis took over on the offensive end over a three-minute span and nearly exceeded the entire Hickman County team’s first-half output with a string of 10 of his team’s final 12 markers of the half.
South Fulton’s leading point-maker on the season scored first off a pretty alley-oop feed, then hit back-to-back 3-pointers before capping his personal flurry with a fallaway jumper to make it 31-11 SF at the half.
HC never made a serious run over the final two periods and Miller emptied his bench in the fourth as 15 players in all scored for the victors.
Davis’ 14 points — all in the first half — represented the game’s lone double-figure scorer.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.