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Wildcats keep on rolling with win against Oconee

POSTED: June 18, 2014 12:00 p.m.
Adam Wynn/Barrow County News

Alantae Billings, one of many returning starters for Apalachee, looks to make a shot during the second half of Tuesday’s summer basketball game against Oconee County High School.

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Apalachee’s men’s basketball team led from start to finish Tuesday night at the Wildcats’ gym and defeated Oconee County 70-54 in the Wildcats’ fourth game of this week’s tournament.

The Cats had defeated East Hall earlier in the evening and ran their summer record to 18-1 with their two victories Tuesday.

Apalachee had dispatched North Oconee and Hebron Christian in a pair of games Monday night at the Apalachee gym.

The Wildcats of Coach Kevin Morris were to have played twice on Wednesday, with games against Jefferson at 4 p.m. and Oconee County at 8 p.m. The Cats will finish the tournament with another pair of games Thursday against Newton at 4 p.m. and Athens Christian at 8 p.m. to wind up the action.

Apalachee, Winder-Barrow and Monroe Area are hosting 16 area teams in this week’s summer league tournament.

The Wildcats looked very much like last year’s squad, shooting a lot of 3-pointers, constantly moving on offense and lacking size.

“Just like last year’s team,” Morris said after the game.

Oconee County was playing in its second straight game of the evening, a fact that was not lost on Morris.

“A lot of times, when you play two games in a row, you’re not quite as sharp in the second game,” he said.

The Warriors had played a talented Athens Christian team prior to taking on the host Wildcats.

As a further example of what Morris was talking about, North Oconee beat Winder-Barrow 61-46 at the Bulldoggs’ gym earlier in the evening, then turned around and fell behind Jackson County 24-0 before scoring in its second game. 

In fact, every team in the tournament but the three host schools played double-headers all week long. The hosts benefited by having the opening and closing games of each day’s match-ups at their particular site.

Alantae Billings led Apalachee in Tuesday’s game against Oconee County with 19 points where Kamar Baldwin scored 16 and Kent Knowles added 11, including a trio of 3-pointers early in the game.

Baldwin, a rising junior who has already been offered a scholarship by UT-Chattanooga, led the Cats with seven rebounds.

Ten of the 13 Wildcat players who dressed for the game scored points.

Apalachee went on a 13-0 run before the midway point of the first half, then Knowles’ 3-pointer gave the Cats a 20-point lead, 33-13, with 9:56 left before the break.

A 3-point basket by Omar Ahmed with 1:01 left before halftime gave Apalachee its widest margin of 22 points, 43-21, before the Cats settled for a 43-23 lead at intermission.

The Wildcats’ biggest lead was 25 points, which they achieved on five occasions in the second half, the last time on a 3-point bucket by Drew Peevy with 3:30 left in the game.

That was Apalachee’s last points of the game, and the Warriors finished the contest on a 9-0 surge to account for the final score.



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