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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2006
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Austin High’s T.T. Mallard (22) drives between Tanner’s Richard Nasseri (5) and Rod Byrd for a basket.
Daily photos by John Godbey
Austin High’s T.T. Mallard (22) drives between Tanner’s Richard Nasseri (5) and Rod Byrd for a basket.

Black Bears
bite Rattlers

Sears scores 21 as Austin boys beat Tanner by 25

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com· 340-2460

TANNER — The Austin High boys basketball team used a balanced attack to down Tanner 75-50 on Saturday night.

Jay Sears led Austin with 21 points with Travis Cohn finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Black Bears (6-3)won their third straight.

Austin also got double-figure scoring performances from Quez Powell with 14 points and Verkereo Mann with 13. Eight of the nine players who took the court for the Black Bears scored at least two points.

“Our guys have played well,” Garth said. “I remember last year when we beat Decatur and the next game Athens beat us by 25 points. We didn’t let that happen again this year after beating Decatur.

“You can’t afford to have a letdown against Tanner. They have a great gym, a great environment and a great team.”

Demarcus King led Tanner (8-3) with 18 points, while Rod Byrd had 12 and Latraius Mosley finished with 11.

Austin took off to a 18-6 lead by the end of the first quarter and built a 32-13 advantage by halftime.

It looked as if the Black Bears had taken complete control of the game before Tanner staged a comeback. The Rattlers trimmed the Black Bears’ lead to five at 43-38 in the third period before Austin coach Demond Garth called for a timeout.

“They made a big run on us in the third quarter,” Garth said. “I had to call time out to settle our guys down. After that, they stepped it up and played like they needed to be playing.”

From there, Austin outscored Tanner 32-12.

The Black Bears hit 30 of 59 shots, while Tanner made 16 of 66.

Austin girls 62, Tanner 43: The Lady Bears forced 29 Tanner turnovers while committing only seven of their own.

Austin’s Chasity Stover (22)pulls a rebound away from teammate Tierra Robinson (30) and Tanner’s Diedra Troupe.
Austin’s Chasity Stover (22)pulls a rebound away from teammate Tierra Robinson (30) and Tanner’s Diedra Troupe.
Jazmine Powers and Chasity Stover led Austin (7-4) in scoring with 15 points each, while Shanise Foster had 10.

Hollye Keenum led Tanner (7-4) with 16 points.

The Lady Rattlers led 16-13 at the end of the first quarter with Austin making a 15-8 run in the second to lead 28-24 at the half.

The Lady Bears held a 43-35 cushion at the end of the third period before making another impressive run on Tanner in the final quarter.

“I thought Tanner got tired there toward the end,” Austin coach Bruce Hamilton said. “It’s nice any time you come out here and win. Tanner is well coached, they have a good team.”

Said Tanner coach Larry Greene: “We did a pretty good job in the first half, but we got tired in the second. They have a real quick team with a lot of depth. Hopefully, here as the season goes on, we’ll have some more depth. We hope to get some others ready to play so they can contribute — but not right now. We got tired and had 29 turnovers and Austin had 19 steals.

“We knew coming into this game we were stepping out of our class. This is the best Austin team I’ve seen in years. They can attribute the win to their quickness and speed.”

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