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Big Red Shootout: Gainesville basketball teams split
Johnson teams fall in opening round at Gainesville
Breana Fair, of Gainesville, works her way past Dominique Aruther of Franklin County during the Chris Mance Memorial Tournament game at the Gainesville gym Thursday night. - photo by Tom Reed

For both Gainesville basketball teams, the first annual Chris Mance Memorial Big Red Shootout at Gainesville High is a chance to get it all together after two relatively rocky starts for a pair of generally solid programs.

The Lady Red Elephants are still working on turning youth into experience, and the boys have yet to field a complete roster largely due to the football team playing all the way to a state title.

Thursday night the boys made some strides despite missing a starter, while the girls saw more things to work on.

The Red Elephants defeated Franklin County 69-64 in the final game of the first round Thursday in Gainesville, while the Lady Red Elephants fell to the Lady Lions 36-23.

The Gainesville boys will play Parkview, which beat Douglass in overtime, at 8:30 tonight in the semifinals. The Gainesville girls play Johnson at 1 p.m. today in a consolation game.

The Red Elephants (3-6) got a measure of payback on Franklin County in the win. It was the Lions who knocked Gainesville out of the Region 8-AAA tournament last season and kept Big Red from reaching the state tournament.

Red Elephants coach Todd Cottrell said that this time around, the players were more focused on the future than the past.

“Honestly they didn’t really talk about it,” he said. “They’re so focused on getting better this season.”

Back-to-back tournaments, first Lanierland and now Gainesville’s own inaugural event, have been a good place to figure out the makeup of the team as the football players fill out the roster again.

But it was a player who’s been consistent all year who led the way against the Lions.

Luke Moore scored a team-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers, to help Gainesville hold off a Franklin County team that was down 11 midway through the fourth but rallied to get within three before the Red Elephants were finally able to seal the win.

“He’s been playing pretty solid for us all year,” Cottrell said of Moore. “He’s been a constant.”

Senior Shaquan Cantrell added 19 points for Gainesville, which turned a two-point game early in the fourth quarter into an 11-point game less than four minutes later after an 11-2 run, started by a pair of Cantrell free throws and including a Moore 3-pointer.

Caleb Hayman added nine points for Gainesville.

Franklin County (6-4), which will play Douglass at 2:30 p.m. today in a consolation game, was led by Tomoriea McGlocking (27 points) and Red Montgomery (18).

“They’re hard to play against,” Cottrell said of the former Region 8-AAA rival. “They’re well coached and they’re never out of it.”

FRANKLIN COUNTY GIRLS 36, GAINESVILLE 23: After Thursday night’s loss to former region rival Franklin County in the opening round, Gainesville girls coach Brenda Hill-Gilmore is looking to see just how her team will respond.

“Are we mature enough to get better and bounce back?” she said. “Or do we settle?”

Gainesville (4-5) can start to bounce back today against Johnson, and will be looking to repeat the road traveled during Lanierland, when the Lady Red Elephants fell in the opener before rallying with two wins to finish fifth.

Franklin County (7-4) plays Parkview at 7 tonight in the semifinals. The Lady Panthers defeated the Lady Knights 97-7 in their opener.

Starting with today’s game, Gilmore still has a lot for her team to work on.

“We shouldn’t be making the same mistakes we made three weeks ago,” the coach said. “We’re not going to use being young as an excuse anymore — we’re nine games in.”

Gainesville turned the ball over 23 times against Franklin County in a game it never led, last tying it at 4-4 in the opening quarter.

Anna Walker led the Lady Red Elephants with 10 points, while Abby Hunter and Autumn Brooks powered the Lady Lions with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Franklin County’s guard-forward duo did all the damage necessary, driving into the paint at will.

“They did whatever they wanted,” Gilmore said. “They’re good, but we weren’t disciplined on defense.”

And the Gainesville offense couldn’t pick up the slack, only heating up a little in the fourth, as Walker scored six points and the Red Elephants scored in double digits in a corner for the first and only time.

Gainesville grabbed 24 rebounds as a team, while Franklin County pulled down 27.

The Jackson County girls defeated Cambridge in their opener and will play Chattahoochee in the other semifinal game at 4 p.m. today.

CHATTAHOOCHEE BOYS 66, JOHNSON 63: The Knights led a late lead slip away and fell to Chattahoochee in the opening round.

Johnson (10-3) will play Dunwoody in a consolation game at 11:30 a.m. today; while Chattahoochee will play Collins Hill at 5:30 tonight in the semifinals of the eight-team tournament.

Roderick English led Johnson with 16 points, Ty Cockfield added 13 — 11 in the second half — and Montrell McKenzie and Drew Dunham each contributed 12 points apiece.

McKenzie led Johnson with 14 rebounds, and Cockfield added seven steals and seven assists.

The Knights led 59-50 early in the fourth quarter after the second of two consecutive McKenzie layups, but were outscored 16-4 the rest of the way. Cougars guard Markus Terry scored 16 of his 27 points in the final quarter, including a 3-pointer with 1 minute remaining to put Chattahoochee ahead for good at 64-63.

Forward Trey Archumbeau led the Cougars with 28 points and seven rebounds, and finished 8 of 10 from the free throw line — Chattahoochee went 11 of 16 from the line as a team.

Johnson was 9 of 16 from the foul line.

PARKVIEW GIRLS 97, JOHNSON 7: The Lady Panthers scored the game’s first 25 points and led 64-5 at the half on the way to a win over the Lady Knights in the first round of the inaugural Big Red Shootout on Thursday at Gainesville High.

Parkview will play Franklin County at 7 tonight in the semifinals; Johnson will play Gainesville at 1 p.m. today in a consolation game.

Vickie Harris led the Lady Panthers with 19 points, one of 14 to score for the 2012 Class AAAAA state quarterfinalists, who rotated in their entire roster throughout the game and scored many of their points on easy fast break layups.

Ariel Collins led Johnson with three points, hitting a 3-pointer in the first quarter to snap Parkview’s 25-point unanswered start to the game.

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