Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local Sports

February 25, 2013

Trojans headed to Final Four clash vs. Dawson Street

Tifton — For the first time in five years, Fullington Academy’s boys will be making a trip to the GISA Final Four and they’ll be taking with them a coach who was last there in 1992 when he, too, played for the Trojans.

The 60-47 victory the Region 3-A runner-up posted Saturday over Region 2-A Robert Toombs’ Crusaders places earned them a berth opposite Region 4-A titlist Dawson Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Mercer University.

The winner of that contest qualifies for Saturday’s 1:40 p.m. finals also to be played at Mercer against either Curtis Baptist or Georgia Christian.

“I’m real proud of our guys from the top to the bottom of our roster,” said Fullington mentor Van Bailey who’ll be making his first semi-finals coaching appearance.

“We knew going in that our defense had to slow their fast-break and offset their overall athleticism and did so by playing an aggressive 2-3 zone designed to slow their penetration to the basket.

“Offensively, we wanted to try and capitalize on our inside game with Levi (McKinney) and David (Roney). Our guards also did a good job of handling their pressure and limiting turnovers.”

McKinney and Roney were an equally big factor on defense as well, sparking Fullington’s 37-30 advantage in rebounds and forcing the Crusaders to alter a number of their shots when they came inside.

While McKinney, who had 20 points and 14 boards, and Roney, who had 15 points, 10 caroms and eight blocked shots, seemingly stood out most, Bailey said the outcome was the result of “a full team effort.

“All our guys kept their heads up as they did a great job of following our game plan to perfection.”

Braden Shealy sank 11 points to join McKinney and Roney in double digits for the winners. Robert Toombs managed just two twin-column scorers in Rico Rogers, 18, and Herron Gardner, 14.

Score by Quarters

Fullington Academy 12-17-20-11 — 60

Robert Toombs 11-10-7-19 — 47


Fullington (60) — Levi McKinney 20, Dane Bailey 3, Paul Dossett, Ty Tyndal, Gavin Reed, Jim Hartin 5, Braden Shealy 11, Mark McCleskey 6, David Roney 15, Austin McIntyre, Jordan Harris, Andrew Mitcham, Jackson McGraw, Forrest Ager, Adam Roney, Butler Clements, Logan Priest, Cole Thompson.

Team totals: field goals 24; free throws 11 of 22 (50%); fouls 10; 3-pointers — Shealy 1; fouled out — none.

Robert Toombs (47) — Shredrick Brown 5, Matt O’conner 2, Rico Rogers 18, Josh Mimbs 3, Herron Gardner 14, Landon James 2, Zack Holmes 3.

Team totals: field goals 19; free throws 6 of 14 (42.9%); fouls  20; Brown 1, Gardner 2; fouled out — Rogers, Gardner.


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