Tattnall Square has itself in strong position to claim the top seed for the GHSA Region 7A-1A boys basketball tournament.
The Trojans used some strong 3-point shooting in the third quarter and made enough free throws in the fourth to claim a 59-47 home win Friday over Stratford, putting the Trojans in sole possession of first place, a game ahead of FPD and Wilkinson County, with a week to go in the regular season.
Jimmy Marshall scored 18 points and Ahmad Barron added 13 for Tattnall (14-5, 7-1 Region 7A-1A), which wraps up regular-season play in the sub-region with a trip to Twiggs County on Tuesday and a visit to FPD on Friday.
Christian Palmer led Stratford (9-10, 3-5) with 14 points.
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Three who mattered
Marshall: The senior who will sign with Middle Tennessee’s football program football Wednesday scored 12 points in the second half, including seven in the final quarter, to help the Trojans pull away.
Zion Blasingame: The Tattnall guard made two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Trojans turned a two-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead after 24 minutes.
Barron: A key 3-pointer in the third quarter and a 4-for-4 effort from the free-throw line in the fourth factored into the victory. He finished with 13 points.
Tattnall made three 3-pointers (one by Barron, then two by Blasingame) in a two-minute stretch in the third quarter to give the Trojans a cushion.
Close first half: Still trying to adjust to the loss of post player Nate Brooks, who left the team earlier in the week for family reasons, Stratford came out Friday and shot well from the perimeter. The Eagles made four 3-pointers in the first half, with Devin Butts sinking three, and the Eagles went to the locker room at halftime with a 29-27 lead.
Flipping the tables: As Tattnall went on its run of 3-pointers, Stratford’s shooting cooled off. The Eagles made just 2-of-14 attempts from the field in the third quarter, missing seven 3-point attempts.
A little stirred up: Stratford head coach Sean Sweeney was assessed a technical foul two minutes into the third quarter when Nathan Hunt fell to the floor hard on a rebound attempt, only to be whistled for a foul. Tattnall’s Calvin Slaughter missed both free throws, but Barron made a 3-pointer 15 seconds later that started the Trojans’ run of 3-pointers.
Also Friday night
Tattnall’s girls turned a strong-shooting third quarter into a 52-46 victory over Stratford, a result that creates a three-way tie for first in the sub-region between Stratford, FPD and Wilkinson County. The Trojans outscored the Eagles 19-9 in the third, going 7-of-9 from the field. Abby Rouse scored 18 for the Trojans (13-8, 4-4), with Allie Gordon adding 12. Carey Woodcock paced Stratford (14-5, 6-2) with 13 points, with Nadia Reese adding 12.
They said it
Tattnall head coach Jarvis Smith on the win: “We had a slow start, and Stratford came out and played well. They actually took us out of our game plan in the first half. We kind of regrouped in the second half. Zion and Ahmad came out and hit some big 3s and got us going in the second half.”
Barron on the third quarter: “When we were on (from the perimeter), we were hot. When we were playing (tight) defense, that’s what gave us our start.”
Smith on the upcoming schedule: “It’s business. We’ve got two huge region games next week, Tuesday at Twiggs and Friday at FPD, and we also play (Saturday). Taking it a game at a time. We control our own destiny right now, each night we get on the floor.”
Both teams host 6 p.m. doubleheaders Tuesday. Stratford hosts Wilkinson County, while Tattnall hosts Twiggs County. Tattnall’s boys play a standalone game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Landmark Christian.