Wednesday, February 13, 2008

On the road: 2-AAAA region tournament

FAYETTEVILLE -- Four teams punched their ticket for the state tournament on Tuesday night at Fayette County High School in the 2-AAAA region tournament.

They're back

For the first time in six years, Creekside is headed back to the state tournament. The Seminoles were led by senior Kevin Murphy (pictured) and a balanced attack in a 65-47 win over Starr's Mill.

The 6-5 senior was fantastic in the win, scoring a game high 26 points and five three-pointers. When Murphy gets hot like he did on Tuesday, Creekside is a hard team to beat.

"Coach told me at halftime that it was time to step up. He told me that it was time to get to state," Murphy said.

The response was evident. Creekside looked strong in the victory and with size inside, depth on the bench and one of the top seniors on the south side of Atlanta, the Seminoles have the tools to be a dangerous team in the state tournament.

Banneker hits the free ones

Right before the tip off of the Banneker-McIntosh game, an assistant coach for Banneker let out a war cry of "It's playoff basketball, baby."

It certainly was.

Banneker hit nine of ten free throws under the three minute mark in the fourth quarter. Hitting the freebies was a problem earlier in the game. That proved to be the difference in the 59-56 Banneker win.

"They wanted it," Banneker head coach Eric Bell said after the game. "I told them in one of those timeouts that they had to get it and they got it. They beat a really good team in McIntosh."

Banneker was balanced in scoring and was led by sophomore Tres Houston, who scored 17 points in the win.

McIntosh had two great efforts from Auburn bound junior Robert Chubb and junior wing Jeremy Lampkin.

Chubb scored 13 points, blocked 10 shots and rebounded seven boards in the defeat. Lumpkin scored 17 points.

Fayette County blows out Woodward

Twenty four to three. That was the first quarter score in the Fayette County-Woodward and that was the tone of the game throughout.

The host team went up to 46-9 going into halftime and came away with a 69-35 win and locked up a state playoff berth in the process.

"We played about as well as we could have possibly played in the first half," Fayette County head coach Andre Flynn said. "The kids played with the intensity that I was looking for from them. They were ready for this."

Evidently. Junior Noel Johnson scored a game high 21 points while Georgia bound football star Brandon Boykin added 11 points and nine assists.

Boykin was the catalyst in the first half, directing the offense with speed and precise passes. Had he not inked with Mark Richt and company, the speedster and best athlete in 2-AAAA, Boykin would have easily played at the low to mid-major level for hoops.

Westlake starts slow, ends strong

For five minutes, the biggest upset of the week looked like a real possibility in the Westlake-Whitewater game.

Whitewater came out of the blocks with an 11-2 run against the state's deepest and biggest AAAA team and had Westlake up against the ropes. Going into halftime up by seven points, Westlake had some more work to do.

The majority of the work was done by Oklahoma bound wing Ray Willis. He was unstoppable to the lane and helped push Westlake over the hump and claimed a 77-55 win over Whitewater.

Willis, a leading contender for Player of the Year in AAAA, scored 27 points for Westlake and was the hardest player to defend in the region tournament.

Up next: Region 6-AAAA tournament at North Springs.