Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

February 2, 2013

Road-weary Fullington squads drop twin bill to Grace Christian

Bainbridge — Long road trips continue to be unkind to Fullington Academy basketball teams.

After making a 2 1/2-hour, 125-mile ride here Friday for re-matches with Grace Christian teams they had swept at home, both the Trojans and Lady Trojans lost by scores of 60-45 and 36-29, respectively.

Combined with a pair of previous defeats at Georgia Christian and a split at Valwood where the Lady Trojans won, the Pinehurst-based teams are a combined 1-5 on their three longest journeys of the season.

That trend may not bode well as Fullington has another lengthy trip on tap Tuesday when it visits Highland Christian of Valdosta and after a Friday trip to neighboring Crisp Academy returns to Georgia Christian week after next for the Region 3-A GISA tournament.

Cougars 60, Trojans 45

Although it didn’t win the scoring battle in a single quarter of play, Fullington did get off to a decent enough start against a Cougars squad it had decisioned 78-65 in an early-January game at home.

The Trojans were down by only two, 18-16, after the first eight minutes but from that point on saw their deficit continue to grow. It was 26-22 at halftime and 41-34 heading into the final turn where Grace had a 19-11 edge to win going away.

“For whatever reason, we’ve had a tendency to not play well after long road trips and that’s something we’ve got to figure out pretty quickly which I think we’ll do before tournament play starts,” Fullington coach Van Bailey said.

“I don’t know if tonight’s problems stemmed from the fact we were playing in a gym we’d never seen before or what but for some reason we didn’t excel in areas we normally do. It wasn’t all the fault of the players, though, as my coaching wasn’t up to par either.

“One big thing that hurt was that we got dominated on the boards where we were very lazy and that allowed Grace several second and third scoring chances.

“Our defense wasn’t up to par either (the Trojans’ yielded 60 or more points for only a sixth time) as we got ourselves into early foul trouble which proved costly in the end.”

The loss dropped Fullington to second place in the Region 3-A standings and left it needing to win at least one of its last two games in order to get the No. 2 tournament seed and the first-round bye and automatic tip to state that goes with it.

Leading scorer/rebounder Levi McKinney who wound up with 13 points and eight boards played slightly more than half the game due to his problem with fouls. David Roney had 10 points in defeat.

Jack McRae, Brent Noble and Bryce McQuaid paced the Cougars with 22, 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Score by Quarters

Fullington 16-6-12-11 — 45

Grace Christian 18-8-15-19 — 60

Scoring

Fullington (45) — Adam Roney, Levi McKinney 13, Dane Bailey 5, Paul Dossett 7, Ty Tyndal, Gavin Reed, Jim Hartin 4, Braden Shealy 4, Mark McCleskey 2, Forrest Ager, Jordan Harris, Daniel Cape, David Roney 10, Andrew Mitcham.

Team totals: field goals 18; free throws 8 of 13 (61.5%); fouls 15; 3-pointers — Dossett 1; fouled out — McKinney.

Grace Christian (60) — Brent Noble 15, Bryce McQuaid 11, Brent Warr 2, Phillip Bowen 9, Dakota Vickers 1, Jack McRae 22.

Team totals: field goals 25; free throws 7 of 14 (50%); fouls 16; 3-pointers — Noble 3; fouled out — none.

Grace 36, Lady Trojans 29

Held to single-digit production in three quarters of play and barely getting into double figures in the fourth, the now 6-12, 3-5 Lady Trojans were held under 30 points for a sixth time this campaign.

“I don’t know if it was the long ride down here or what, but for whatever reason we turned in one of our worst performances of the year,” Fullington coach Mike Cason said.

“We showed no emotion and had no movement at all on either offense or defense as it almost looked like we were glued to the floor.

“They (the Lady Cougars) made no changes from the way they played us before (when the Lady Trojans prevailed 51-39) as they once again slowed things down and worked for the good shots which they hit enough of to come out on top.”

Darrian Bailey pitched in a game-high 15 points to lead the scoring for Fullington which in defeat saw its hopes of earning a No. 3 seed for the region tournament vanish. Emilee Murr led Grace Christian with 10.

Score by Quarters

Fullington Academy 7-2-11-9 — 29

Grace Christian 5-7-10-14 — 36

Scoring

Fullington (29) — Darrian Bailey 15, Meredith McGlamory, Lena van Assendelft, Rachel McCleskey 9, Leah Thompson, Madison Warbington 3, Lex van Assendelft 2, Alyssa Edwards.

Team totals: field goals 10; free throws 7 of 13 (53.8%); fouls 13; 3-pointers — Bailey 1, McCleskey 1; fouled out — none.

Grace Christian (36) — Emilee Murr 10, Kelsey Harrell 5, Shelby Woodrum 8, Hannah Wynn 4, Jasmine Kelly 9.

Team totals: field goals 14; free throws 7 of 12 (58.3%); fouls 10; 3-pointers — Harrell 1; fouled out — none.

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