Raiders surge past Hale County
Sat. February 25, 2012 at 5:45 p.m. | By Andrew Carroll
Hale County's Kerry Lewis tries to block Greensboro's Bradley Hewitt during the Class 3A boys AHSAA Central Regional Finals Saturday at Alabama State University in Montgomery (Photo by Julie Bennett)
MONTGOMERY | The Greensboro Raiders surged in the second half Saturday and earned a trip to Birmingham to defend their Class 3A title.
Greensboro shot 52 percent (13 for 25) in the second half and downed Hale County 62-46 to win the Central Regional boys basketball championship.
The Raiders (27-6) play Madison Academy at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex.
Hale County and the Raiders were tied at 24 at halftime. Junior point guard Donald King had three fouls, and junior forward Kavoris Owens had two points.
Owens scored 10 of his team-high 16 points in the third quarter, and the Raiders had a 44-31 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
"The plan at halftime was to keep attacking the basket," said Greensboro coach Craig Williams, who spent part of his career at Hale County. "The last time we played them, we knocked down a few shots, so they started playing us outside and it left all the driving lanes open. I told the guys to keep pushing the ball and keep going to the goal. It hurt us that my point guard got in foul trouble. The key was to keep him out of foul trouble and keep attacking the basket.
"(Owens) feeds off his teammates. It’s a collective group of guys that are real close. When one person gets going, the rest of them get going."
Senior Karron Tabb, who didn’t play during last season’s title run, scored 15 points and was the most valuable player. Jimmie Taylor, a 6-foot-9 junior, slammed in a few baskets for his 13 points. Taylor, an all-tournament selection, led the Raiders with 11 rebounds and had five blocks and three steals. Owens had eight rebounds. King, who didn’t foul out, had eight points, eight assists and four rebounds.
Hale County (17-11) had 38 rebounds, the same number as Greensboro, but the Wildcats shot 33.3 percent (16 for 48).
Point guard Travis Jenkins had 15 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats. George Crawford had eight points, Rodriguez Arnold seven and Kerry Lewis five. Lewis, a senior guard and forward, had 13 rebounds, three steals and two assists, but he struggled from the field, making only 1 of 13 shots.
Lewis and Jeremy Vanhorn represented Hale County on the all-tournament team.
Hale County coach Eric Perry said Jenkins and Vanhorn got "banged up" and weren’t at full speed in the third quarter.
"There were able to kind of take advantage of some of the youth that we had to put in there," Perry said. "We were never able to recover after that third quarter."
Reach Andrew Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223.