Contributed by Rob Grubbs (@RCGJr226070)
No. 4 Mary Persons 104, Lamar County 81
— Robert Grubbs (@RCGJr226070) December 9, 2017
FORYSTH, Ga. – The Mary Persons Bulldogs (6-1) began the week ranked No. 4 in Class AAAA but have the misfortune of being in the same region as the No. 1 ranked Upson-Lee Knights and lost to them on Tuesday with Cam Holden sidelined. The Bulldogs rebounded with a win on Friday against Howard and then faced off with Lamar County on Saturday at home. The Trojans, from Class AA, came into the game with a record of 3-2, each of those loses were against the same Upson-Lee team. So, both teams were undefeated except for playing the Knights. Mary Persons would make up for some sloppy early play by going on a second quarter run to put the game away by halftime and cruise to a 104-81 win.
Lamar County jumped out to a 12-6 lead behind three-point shots from Josiah Stewart and Rondez Fletcher. Holden who did not start, entered the game with 4 minutes remaining in the first and immediately hit a three, which sparked a 32-7 Bulldog run. It didn’t help that Trojan leading scorer Dallas Ogletree picked up two quick fouls and had to sit down about the same time Holden started his scoring spree. The Bulldogs outscored the Trojans 44-15 after Holden’s initial three and took a 53-27 lead into halftime. Holden said, “When I hit that first shot, I knew I was going to be alright.”
The Bulldogs kept the full court pressure dialed in and when they forced Lamar County into a 10 second violation with 6 minutes left in the third, Mary Persons had its biggest lead of the night at 60-29. Ogletree showed his mettle by leading a Trojan run, with no further fouls, he was able to play his game. He would finish with 30 points, 21 of those, including three threes, in the fourth quarter to keep the game respectable. Bulldog Maurice Shannon hit the jumper that would put them over the 100-point mark.
Afterwards, Coach Nix commented on his pressure defense, “The 2-2-1 zone press is our bread and butter, we love to play swarming, team defense. We were able to force them into some mistakes and make a quick run.” And on his star player Holden, he said, “When it is time to play, he wants to win more than anyone. He makes the other players on the court better.”
- Mary Persons Head Coach Greg Nix is in his sixth season at Mary Persons. He has served previous stints at Houston County and Veterans High School. The Bulldogs’ record has improved each season he has been there, and the current team seems prepared to continue that trend (they finished 18-10 last season).
- Mary Persons implemented a relentless 2-2-1 zone press off
made shots. Lamar County guard Dallas Ogletree had the primary responsibility to break the press, but it took him somewhat out of his scoring role.
- Mary Persons senior forward Cam Holden plays a smooth, almost effortless game. He can score with ease, but he also distributes and makes his teammates better. He had two college recruiters waiting for him after the game.
- While Holden has a talented supporting cast, Lamar County’s Dallas Ogletree must carry more of the offensive load. Had he not gotten into early foul trouble, Mary Persons might not have gone on such a big run to end the first quarter.
- While beating Upson-Lee for the region championship is a tall order, Mary Persons should still be a Class AAAA playoff team to reckon with.
- Lamar County is 3-3, and those three losses were to the No. 1 and No. 4 ranked teams in AAAA. In their own region (5-AA), they should be able to compete and qualify for the state tournament.
Cam Holden – 27 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks
Dee Morton – 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks
Rekia Weaver – 14 points, 3 rebounds
Tre Edge – 13 points, 2 assists, 1 steal
Desmon Williams – 6 points, 8 rebounds
Dallas Ogletree – 30 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists
Rondez Fletcher – 14 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists
Kellyn Tyus – 2 points, 9 rebounds