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Brooks shoots hacking, coughing 'Cats into semis
Feb 20, 2007 12:00 am
GLADEVILLE — Wilson Central's boys hacked and coughed their way into Friday's District 9-AAA tournament elimination game with one starter in bed at home with the flu and two other players trying to play through the illness.
But once the game began, Central's JaJuan Brooks put Beech's season in terminal condition and Kody Woodard, one of the under-the-weather players, helped pull the plug on the Buccaneers 67-62.
Brooks sank 7 of 10 three-pointers for 27 points. The sophomore had 20 on six triples in the first half as the Wildcats, who never trailed, led 36-23 at the break.
Woodard, who received a shot earlier in the day, knocked down 9 of 10 free throws, including 6 of 6 in the fourth quarter to send the Wildcats to today's 5:30 p.m. semifinal game at Beech against top-seed Gallatin, which enjoyed a first-round bye. Central also earned a Region 5-AAA bid and will host a first-round game with a win tonight.
"We've been blessed with having several kids who can play and we pride ourselves on playing a lot of kids and when the chips are down sometimes and adversity hits you, good teams find a way to win whan that does and we did it," said Central coach Troy Bond, who had starting center Travis Adkins at home with a 103-degree temperature and backup post Jarvis Jenkins playing off the bench despite missing the previous three days of practice. "JaJuan Brooks had a great night. He really stepped up in the points part.
"Everybody that came in made their point on the game. There was no guy who played terrible. There was no guy who played super outstanding. We played together. We really shared the ball well."
Central sank 20 of 31 field goals, and without Adkins, most of those were not layups. In addition to Brooks, point guard Kelten Stewart also stroked in a trio of triples on his way to 10 points. Arcavius McMurray, in for Adkins in the starting lineup, and Daniel Palmer each finished with five while Jenkins and Teraes Clemmons each connected for a free throw.
Central scored the first nine points of the game as Stewart, Woodard and Brooks connected from outside. But Beech quickly heated up as Jeremy Rice racked up 11 of his 16 in the first quarter as the Buccaneers cut the margin to 19-17.
But Beech never got any closer, though the Bucs kept coming back. A basket by Ben Crocker, who led the visitors from the Sumner County community of Shackle Island with 18 points, scored inside to bring the Bucs within 64-60 in the final minute.
But Woodard dropped in the final two foul shots to send Central to the semis with a 19-10 record.
"Kody is a competitor," Bond said. "He is one of those guys I just think it'd be hard to keep him out of this game.
"Kelten Stewart made some big shots. Brooks made some big shots... Daniel Palmer had some big scores inside. Arcavius MacMurray did a good job. Teraes Clemmons and Preston Jenkins and Jarvis Jenkins came off the bench and gave us a big lift at times."
Reece Chamberlalin threw in three triples on his way to 11 points for the Buccaneers, who ended a 17-14 season.
"There were times tonight we had four sophomores and one junior on the floor," Bond said. "Very few people can win a 4-5 [seed] game with that type of lineup. But we've got special kids and we're excited about going on to the next round."
Awaiting the Wildcats are the Green Wave, who are rested while Central is sick.
"Our kids have a lot of fight," Bond said. "We're going to go over there and, as [former Lebanon] Coach [Hester] Gibbs would say when I played, 'we're going to buckle up the chin strap and we're going to go to work'."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.