Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

January 26, 2013

McCleskey sinks 40 in Lady Trojans' win

Pinehurst — As long as Fullington Academy’s Mike Cason has been in the coaching profession — 24 years to be exact —, he can’t recall ever having seen one of his female players do what Rachel McCleskey did Friday night.

“I don’t believe I’ve ever had a girl score 40 points in a game,” Cason said after watching McCleskey post double-digit points totals in the first (11) and last (13) quarters and come up with eight more in each of the two periods between.

That production sparked Cason’s Lady Trojans to a 75-53 win over Randolph Southern and set the stage for the Region 3-A GISA sweep Fullington would eventually get when its Trojans defeated the visiting Patriots, 65-52.

With the triumphs, the Fullington teams bettered their report cards to 5-12, 2-4 (girls) and 8-7, 5-1 heading into a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday doubleheader here against Highland Christian of Valdosta.

Lady Trojans 75, Lady Pats 53

In easily surpassing its previous single-game points high (57) also recorded against Randolph in a season-opening 3-point win in the Terrell Tip-Off Tournament, the Lady Trojans won the scoring battle in all but the third stanza.

While McCleskey’s performance was obviously a big reason why Fullington held rest break advantages of 16-5, 33-20 and 49-44 before taking the final quarter 26-9, Darrian Bailey also made an impressive contribution.

In fact, she, too, may have registered a first for Cason’s coaching career when she nailed an astonishing 16 free throws without a miss on her way to a 22-point performance. She also yanked down a career-high 18 rebounds.

“Both those girls as well as all our other players seeing action benefited from the fact we stayed with a patterned offense throughout and also stuck with a 1-3-1 zone defense while having probably our best game of the season,” Cason said.

Randolph Southern, meanwhile, got double-digit scoring efforts from Elaina McCook, 16, Gabi Jackson, 13, and Parker Rigsby, 10.

Score by Quarters

Randolph Southern 5-15-24-9 — 53

Fullington Academy 16-17-16-26 — 75

Scoring

Randolph Southern (53) —  Gabi Jackson 13, Parker Rigsby 10, Elaina McCook 16, Haley Hammock 1, Dana McCarter 4, Josey Brown 9.

Team totals: field goals 19; free throws 15 of 27 (55,6%); fouls 26; 3-pointers — none; fouled out — Jackson, McCook, McCarter, Brown.

Fullington (75) — Darrian Bailey 22m Hannah Clemens 1, Lena van Assendelft 4, Kallie Kimbrough, Meredith McGlamory, Wellsley Martin, Rachel McCleskey 40, Leah Thompson 3, Madison Warbington, Lex van Assendelft 4, Alyssa Edwards 1.

Team totals: field goals 19; free throws 31 of 42 (73.8%); fouls 23; 3-pointers — McCleskey 6; fouled out — Warbington.

Trojans 65, Patriots 52

While the Trojans set no records at either the individual or team level, they did maintain their share of first place with Georgia Christian in the region standings. In doing so, they prevailed much more easily than they had in notching an earlier 59-55 win over the Patriots.

“We got the good team effort we needed to maybe get us back on track after losses in our two previous starts,” Fullington coach Van Bailey said. “We ran the court well and came up with several steals (12) and defensive rebounds that we converted into numerous fast-break baskets.

“By working the ball inside to our big men (Levi McKinney and David Roney) and getting the ball in a good spot to score, we also did a good job of adjusting when our outside shots weren’t falling.

“On top of that, we outrebounded them 41-33 and in using an 11-man rotation gradually wore the Patriots down (while building quarter leads of 14-12, 35-23 and 53-37). It was just a good team effort overall.”

Roney and Levi McKinney emerged as the scoring leaders for the victors with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Rhett Ragan registered a game-high 23 for the losers.

Score by Quarters

Randolph Southern 12-11-14-15- 52

Fullington Academy 14-21-18-12 — 65

Scoring

   Randolph Southern (52) — Blake Lamb 3, Brent Sauls 4, Marquan Jones 7, Jared Sauls 6, Kashaad Johnson 3, Rhett Ragan 23, Alex Torbert 1, Ross Crittenden 5, Cam Barley 1, Josh McDowell.

   Team totals: field goals 18; free throws 13 of 25 (52%); fouls 22; 3-pointers — Lamb 1, Johnson 1, Regan 1; fouled out — none.

   Fullington (65) — Austin McIntyre, Levi McKinney 19, Dane Bailey 2, Paul Dossett 5, Ty Tyndal, Gavin Reed, Jim Hartin, Braden Shealy 3, Mark McCleskey 7, Forrest Ager, Jordan Harris, Daniel Cape 4, David Roney 21, Jackson McGraw, Andrew Mitcham, Adam Roney 4, Butler Clemens, Logan Priest, Cole Thompson.

   Team totals: field goals 24; free throws 16 of 31 51.6%); fouls 17; 3-pointers — Shealy 1; fouled out — none.

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