Irwin falls in last minute to Turner

Ocilla – Those in attendance tonight probably weren’t expecting the contest they got in the nightcap of two contests held at Irwin County High School.In the early game, Tasha Kimble’s Lady Rebels squad scalped the Lady Indians 55-17.  In the late game, Turner County coach Tyronne Kellogg saw a very different team from the Indians squad Turner defeated on Dec.16th.

Coach Levon Grant put a more seasoned squad on the floor tonight. His Indians squad is 6-4 on their season, which was delayed in starting as Irwin competed for the Single A State Championship in the Dome. Having lost to Turner in their first game as a unit, Grant took a beating at the hands of neighboring Tift County in Philips Arena just before Christmas. Since then, Irwin has won 5 games before falling to region foe Lanier County.  In Single A, the method of setting playoff slots is different in that all teams are “power ranked” and the top 16 will play in the post season. Unranked in the first set of power rankings released Monday, Irwin hoped to gain ground.  Turner County entered at 8-0 in Region play, and with a 13-3 record overall. Currently ranked 8th, Turner County needs to keep winning games. Having beat the Lanier team that beat Irwin twice this season, from the outside looking in this might be a blowout on paper. That wasn’t the case.

Daniel Smith fires from 3-point land. Smith finished 18 points. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Daniel Smith fires from 3-point land. Smith finished 18 points. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

In the first frame, the Rebels and Indians were fairly even. Both teams struggled in short range situations as defenders blocked shots in the paint. Turning to the long distance dialing, Irwin tapped Daniel Smith. Smith hit three big shots, netting 9 of his 18 in the frame. The quarter would end as it began, knotted up with a score of 13 all.

In the 2nd, Irwin continued to dial long, hitting for 9 more as Smith and reserve Chevera Hardy hit to keep the Indians close. Thanks to a double team in the 2-3 aggressive zone Grant set against Turner’s post threat Tamarrion Terry, Shaq Baldwin was able to add 8 points. Terry did a good job of moving the ball around, scoring 10 points despite the defense.  The Rebels carried a 31-28 lead into the locker room.

Irwin would battle back in the 3rd frame, outscoring the Rebels 22-21 in the period. The Indians came out of the break on fire defensively, creating four quick steals/turnovers for layups. Terry had no points in the frame, missing his only opportunity at the charity stripe as he went 0 for 2. Instead, Turner used a passing attack that set up long balls for the Rebels. They hit for 9 points from behind the line.

Trailing by 2, 52-50, the score at the end of the contest would show a very different outcome at the end. Losing by 10, the Indians gave up 8 points in the final 72 seconds as they made poor shot selections in traffic in the closing minutes. Irwin spent the last 6 minutes of the contest in the bonus, and Turner hit just 4 of 7 from the stripe.

For Turner, Terry lead all scorers with 20 points, Baldwin added 18, and Quan Hillman finished with 10. Turner improves to 14-3 and 9-0 in the region. The Rebels will face Clinch County in Homerville on Saturday night.Girls start at 6:00PM.

Mylashia Yancey scores in the first half. Yancey led all scorers with 16. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Mylashia Yancey scores in the first half. Yancey led all scorers with 16. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

For the Indians in the loss, Smith finished with 18, Post Bernard Pitts added 14 points, and Kameron Williams netted 13 in the effort. Irwin falls to 4-3 in the region and will tangle with Telfair County on Thursday night in Ocilla. Game time is 6:00 PM.

In the early game, Turner County’s girls launched a very one-sided attack in the first half, and coasted to a victory 55-17. Leaders for the Lady Rebels were: Mylashia Yancey with 16 points, and Zakiyah Office with 11. Turner County is now 9-0 in region play, and 14-2. Their only single A loss this season has come to Calhoun County. The Lady Rebs are currently ranked #4 in the first set of power rankings.



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