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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2007
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Austin High's Jay Sears looks to drive past Buckhorn's Jordan Tippit at Austin High on Tuesday. Buckhorn won 59-54.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Austin High's Jay Sears looks to drive past Buckhorn's Jordan Tippit at Austin High on Tuesday. Buckhorn won 59-54.

Austin loses
lead late

Black Bears see 10-point advantage evaporate in 4th quarter

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com 340-2460

Austin High coach Demond Garth prepared for it.

He had scouted Buckhorn knowing that the Bucks would drive to the basket and pass the ball outside for open shots late in the game.

And in the fourth quarter of Buckhorn's 59-54 boys basketball victory over Austin on Tuesday, the Bucks started doing just that.

The Black Bears (13-8) couldn't do anything to stop it as they lost a 10-point second-half lead.

"All the film I watched, that's when I knew they would come back," Garth said. "They're so athletic with their guard play that they're tough to stop."

Jay Sears led the way for the Black Bears with 13 points, including nine in the first quarter.

Quez Powell added 12 points, and Travis Cohn parlayed a nine-point fourth quarter en route to an 11-point night.

Brandon Williams had 22 and Lydriez Friend had nine for the Bucks (16-4).

Until the fourth quarter, the only time Austin trailed was at the eight-minute mark of the first quarter, when Cohn was given a technical foul for dunking in warm-ups.

The Bucks hit both free throws to take the 2-0 advantage.

On the strength of an 8-2 run from 5:39 in the third quarter until 2:10, the Black Bears built a 41-31 lead, most of which with Sears out of the game.

But the Bucks went on a four-point spurt at the end of the quarter to cut the lead and bring some momentum back to their side.

With 2:21 remaining in the fourth, Buckhorn took a 51-49 lead, its first since the start of the game.

Austin tied the game at 51 on a bucket by Sears, but couldn't hold the Bucks, who scored consecutive
baskets to take a four-point lead at 55-51
.

After Cohn hit a 3-point basket to bring the Black Bears to within one point, Garth called for his team to start fouling Buckhorn.

With 37.5 seconds left, Williams hit both of his free throws to put Buckhorn up by three.

On Austin's next possession, T.T. Mallard drove toward the basket, then attempted a
fade-away jump shot, which missed.

He then got his own rebound and missed the followup.

Buckhorn's Meco Miller was fouled and hit both free throws to put the Bucks up by four points, icing the game.

"We tried to make some adjustments. Every time we'd drive they would block our shots," Garth said.

"Buckhorn took it to us in the fourth quarter."

Austin girls 58, Buckhorn 44: The Lady Black Bears used an 8-0 run at the end of the first half and some stellar play from their guards to defeat Buckhorn.

China McDaniel had 17 points, and Jazmine Powers chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds to lead Austin (12-11).

Lauren Spaulk had 13 points for the Lady Bucks, and Megan Budolen had 11.

"I thought we played well in transition," Austin coach Bruce Hamilton said. "Our perimeter players did a good job of finishing."

With the score 23-18 at the end of the second quarter, the Lady Black Bears closed out the half with eight straight points to give them some breathing room.

"The run enabled us to get a lead and open things up," Hamilton said. "They're always going to be in the game so it was good to get some breathing room."

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