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Tuesday February 7th, 2023 5:24PM

Boys basketball: Branch rallies past Glads; GHS routs Jackson County; Commerce wins; Bluff, Lakeview fall

By AccessWDUN Staff

ATHENS, Ga. — Flowery Branch unleashed a huge fourth quarter to rally for a key 79-65 Region 8-5A win over Clarke Central on Tuesday on the road.

The Falcons (14-4, 4-3 Region 8-5A) trailed 53-51 heading into the final period after the Gladiators (6-12, 1-6 Region 8-5A) used a 26-17 third quarter to erase a 34-27 Branch lead at halftime. Jeremiah Ware, Tyleek Worth, and Jackson Owens took control from there.

Ware poured in 8 of his team-high 23 points in the period, Owens had 7 of his 9 points in the fourth, and Worth added 7 of his 19 points in the final period.

Branch won the game at the free throw line. The Falcons hit 9-of-12 in the fourth quarter and were 21-of-33 for the game. Clarke Central was just 4-of-13 from the line for the game.

The Gladiators’ Marcus Gillespie had a huge game with 36 points, 30 coming in the second and third quarters as they turned a 21-12 first quarter deficit into a lead by the end of the third. Laneric Hill had 14 for Clarke Central.

The win kept Branch in fourth place with a huge showdown with Jefferson on Friday at home.


GAINESVILLE 75,
JACKSON COUNTY 54

The Panthers gave the Red Elephants their best shot but it still wasn't enough.

Big Red (11-6, 4-1 Region 8-6A) controlled the game from the opening tip, but the Panthers made it interesting several times, closing the double-digit gap to single digits. 

After Jackson County (1-17, 0-5 Region 8-6A) cut the early first-quarter lead to 6-5, Isaiah Rico, Iaasc Marcero and Charlie Reisman set the Red Elephants on a 22-5 run to grab a 28-11 lead. 

It was one of three Panther rallies throughout the game. 

They slashed Gainesville's 31-16 lead with a 12-4 run late in the second quarter to 36-28, thanks to buckets from Charlie Fox and Channing Marciano. 

Gainesville's Dre Raven hit back-to-back baskets to lift the Red Elephants to a 40-28 haft-time advantage. 

Jackson County opened the second half with a 7-0 spurt to cut the lead to five points, 40-35. After that, behind Reisman, Cade Simmons, and Raven, Gainesville extended the lead and took control for good, 56-42, at the end of the third quarter. 

The Red Elephants led by 23 points with two minutes left. 

Charlie Reisman paced Gainesville with 20 points. He was one of four Red Elephants to score in double figures. Simmons finished with 15 points, Raven had 12, and Rico netted 10. 

Fox led the Panthers with 19 points, while Brice Rogers had 13. 


WALNUT GROVE 73,
CHEROKEE BLUFF 54

The Bears could not find their offense in a road loss to the Warriors in a Region 8-4A crossover matchup.

Cherokee Bluff (12-7, 5-1 Region 8-4A Sub A) was held a dozen points below their season average. Carlos Marlowe was the only player to reach double figures with 17 points.

Walnut Grove held a slim 17-14 lead after the first quarter but extended its lead to 35-27 by halftime. The Warriors pulled away in the third quarter, taking a 56-41 lead into the fourth.

Andy Quirarte had 9 points and Logan Holmes 7 for the Bears. Boston Kersh was held to just 6 points by a stingy Warriors defense.

Walnut Grove (9-11, 2-3 Region 8-4A Sub B) is 4-0 against Subregion A. Cherokee Bluff is 0-3 against Subregion B.

Bluff will be back in action on Friday playing host to Johnson in a region matchup.


GEORGE WALTON 58,
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY 57

The Lions rally fell short in the loss to George Walton on Tuesday. 

Lakeview was down 11, 48-49, going into the final quarter. They cut the lead to one late in the game and had a good look at the end but couldn't convert. 

Justyce Sadler scored 21 points to lead the Lions. Tayden Ware finished with 16, and Jack Collins scored 11. 


COMMERCE 87,
ELBERT COUNTY 64

Jackson Morris scored 27 points to lead the Tigers past Elbert County on Tuesday. 

Cayden Lord added 17, and Jansen Morris had 13 points. 

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