MMS squads take different paths to finals
Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 10:03 am
Both Martin Middle School basketball teams advanced to the Area 5 Middle School Tournament finals with victories on Monday at South Fulton.
For the MMS Lady Panthers, it was a matter of surviving a Hillcrest Lady Cougar comeback try to earn a 42-40 win.
The Martin boys took control and never let up in walloping the Lake Road Generals 42-18 in their semifinal triumph.
Both teams will play for Area 5 titles on Thursday at South Fulton. The second-seeded Martin girls will take on No. 1 seed South Fulton at 6 p.m., while the top seeded Panthers will face No. 2 Inman with tipoff set for 8 that evening.
In the semifinal win, the Lady Panthers controlled most of the first half. After trailing 4-2, Martin reeled off the game’s next 14 points for a 16-4 lead with 3:49 to play in the half. Tiffany Rechis had six points and Alexis Taylor had four points in the spree.
Taylor also — just before the first quarter ended — hustled to nullify a Hillcrest fastbreak and came up with a steal, which led to a Katie Vincent layup with 1 second to play in the first stanza. Vincent’s hoop sent Martin into the second quarter with an 8-4 lead.
Martin stretched its lead to a dozen, 16-4, on a Rechis putback. The lead peaked at 13 points, 20-7, on a Rechis free throw with 1:53 to play in the half. When the intermission arrived, MMS led by double digits, 23-13.
The Hillcrest fullcourt press then took a toll as the Lady Cougars fought back to knot the game at 30-all on Allye Payton’s layup to end the third quarter.
A turnover against the press early in the fourth allowed HMS to take the lead on a Karen Fluty layup.
The score was tied three times after that, the last at 38-all with 1:45 to play.
Kaycie Moultrie’s putback put Martin on top for good and Vincent added two free throws for insurance in the 42-40 win.
Rechis topped all scorers with 18 points. Taylor added nine. Payton topped Hillcrest with 12 points.
In the boys game, a pair of steals and layups by Martin’s Justin Johnson set the tone early. The Generals leaned on Blake Berner’s four first-quarter points to trail 10-7 after a quarter.
To open the second, Johnson added a layup off an alley oop pass from Houston Haag. The Panther depth took its toll as the lead hit double digits. Parker Beal and Barrett Belote each had four points as MMS led 25-14 at halftime.
In the third, Dalton Turnbow tallied six of his team-high nine points as MMS ran away from the Generals, leading 42-18 after three.
Neither team scored in the fourth as Martin advanced with the 42-18 win.