A historic night in Fayetteville: Fayette boys, girls advance to second round of state playoffs

Fri, 02/22/2008 - 10:20pm
By: Kevin Wandra

Boykin dunk

A winless playoff record (0-6) had been the biggest blemish on the resume of Fayette County boys basketball coach Andre Flynn.

Some naysayers questioned whether Flynn would ever lead Fayette out of the first round of the state playoffs.

Well, the wait is over, and the monkey is finally off the back of Flynn, whose Tigers defeated the Upson Lee Knights 74-58 Friday in Fayetteville to advance to the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs for the first time in school history.

It also was the third consecutive season that Fayette (20-9) recorded 20 wins.

“I really didn’t think about that [his playoff record] that much,” Flynn said. “Those last six years, we have always fallen behind and always had to try and catch up, so we wanted to get out quick. That was our goal. I’m proud of the kids.

“They said congratulations to me. I guess they knew more than I did, as far as what people were saying about us not being able to get out of the first round. This is a special bunch of young men. I think we’re a team that you’re going to have to watch out for.”

The Lady Tigers also won their first-round playoff game, defeating visiting Forest Park 49-22 to advance to the second round of the state playoffs for the second straight season.

Perhaps having learned from past mistakes, the Fayette boys jumped out to an early lead in their first-round playoff game against Upson Lee, leading by as many as nine in the first quarter and nine at halftime.

Fayette began to run away from the Knights in the third quarter, outscoring Upson Lee 18-8 to enter the final period with a 19-point lead (54-35).

The Tigers’ leading scorer, forward Noel Johnson, carried his team’s offense in the third quarter, scoring 10 of his game-high 30 points.

Fayette led by as many as 13 the rest of the way, cruising to the second round, where the Tigers will play the winner of Statesboro-Lee County on Tuesday.

Johnson was the leader of Fayette’s offense, but he wasn’t the lone Tiger to make a significant contribution at the offensive end of the floor; two other Tigers scored in double figures, center Terrance Turner (14 points) and guard Brandon Boykin (13).

The Fayette girls didn’t play their best game of the season, but they didn’t have to, not with the way their pesky defense made up for their shortcomings on offense.

The Lady Tigers held offensively challenged Forest Park to less than five points in two quarters, the first (four) and third (two), and they didn’t allow Forest Park to score in double digits in any of the four quarters.

“One of our goals is to hold teams to under 40,” Fayette coach John Strickland said. “It was impressive as far as holding them down to 22. We manned up tonight. We put a little more pressure on defense and changed things up a bit.

“We wanted to see how they would react. I saw that the pressure really bothered them.”

Fayette fell behind early, 4-0, but Kristene Walker came off the bench and provided an instant spark for the Lady Tigers, scoring eight of her 15 points in the first quarter, which concluded with Fayette in front 11-4.

Anma Onyeuku boosted Fayette’s offensive attack in the second quarter, scoring eight of her team-high 16 points to help Fayette end the quarter with a double-digit lead (24-12). Onyeuku also finished with nine rebounds.

Fayette led by double digits the rest of the way; its biggest lead was 30 in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Tigers (23-5) will face the winner of Bainbridge-Greenbrier on Wednesday.

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sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Sat, 02/23/2008 - 10:05pm.

I'm going to start a very controversial thread....

Should the headline read "A Historic Night in Fayetteville"?

or "An Historic Night In Fayetteville"?

Sticking out tongue

Kevin Wandra's picture
Submitted by Kevin Wandra on Tue, 02/26/2008 - 3:56pm.

According to the Associated Press Stylebook, "use the article 'a' before consonant sounds: a historic event," for example.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 02/26/2008 - 4:20pm.

That true in 99% of the instances. However if the "h" is soft such as "honor" than "an" is acceptable. For example; "It's an honor to write to you" versus "It's a honor to write to you". This from the Cyclist's style guide - for what's it worth.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by justcurious on Sat, 02/23/2008 - 10:53pm.

Only use "an" when the next word begins with a vowel. Smiling

Submitted by sageadvice on Sun, 02/24/2008 - 7:03am.

Not exactly true!
If the next word starts with a silent "h", "an", is used.
So do you say Historical, or istorical?

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