South Cobb unable to drop shots in festival

South Cobb's Corey Ross, right, shoots over Berkmar's Brandon Thompson in Saturday's game.

Staff photo by Anthony Stalcup

MARIETTA - Berkmar contained South Cobb's high-flying offense and the 10th-ranked Eagles fell 58-49 on Saturday in the second game of the Atlanta High School Hoop Festival at the Cobb County Civic Center.

South Cobb (5-4) came into the game averaging 76 points per game, but Berkmar put the clamps from the start and was in control the whole way.

"We just couldn't hit our shots," South Cobb coach Kris Watkins said. "We're averaging 76 points a game, but we scored only 49 (on Saturday), and we can't be successful like that."

For Berkmar coach Greg Phillips, slowing down South Cobb's offense was the top priority.

"I talked to the team all week about defense," Phillips said. "South Cobb was scoring 76 points a game, so they are a very good team and we knew we had to play good defense. We held them to 49 points, so our team did a great job of containing them."

Derrick Norman scored 11 points to lead South Cobb, while Corey Ross added nine and Devocio Butler had eight. Butler was selected as the game's most outstanding player for South Cobb.

Brandon Thompson, who was named his team's most outstanding player, led Berkmar with 18 points, while Ben Wibonele contributed 13.

Thompson scored first for Berkmar (6-4) on a layup. Devan Campbell then followed with a transition layup to give the Patriots a 4-0 lead with 6:22 remaining in the first quarter.

Jeremey Meyer hit a 3-pointer for South Cobb to cut the Eagles' deficit to 4-3, but Campbell scored on another layup, Yonel Brown stole the ball and made a layup and Ivan Harden hit a jumper to increase Berkmar's advantage to 10-3 with 4:29 left in the first half.

South Cobb began to cut the gap as Ross scored on a layup and Norman nailed a 3-pointer to reduce Berkmar's lead to 10-8 with 3:14 left. Then, after Harden made one of two free throws to make it 11-8 Berkmar, Jerrod Jenkins scored on a layup to help South Cobb cut the Patriots' lead to 11-10 with 2:44 left.

That's as close as South Cobb would get, however, as Berkmar proceeded to go on a 13-3 run that would last until midway through the second quarter.

Thompson scored on a layup and then made another layup off of a South Cobb turnover to increase Berkmar's lead to 15-10 with 1:16 left in the first quarter, then Brown made a pair of free throws and Thompson hit a jumper to complete an 8-0 run for Berkmar and gave the Patriots a 19-10 lead with 7:35 remaining in the first half.

Ross hit a jumper to help South Cobb cut its deficit to 19-12 with 7:09 left in the first half, but jumpers by Harden and Brown pushed Berkmar's advantage back up to 23-12 with 4:21 left.

Melvin Weems made one of two free throws for South Cobb to cut Berkmar's lead to 23-13, but Thompson was fouled on a layup attempt after stealing the ball and made one of his two free-throw attempts to give the Patriots a 24-13 lead with 3:32 left.

South Cobb would cut Berkmar's lead to six points later in the second quarter, and again late in the third quarter, but the Eagles would never get any closer than that the rest of the way as the Patriots would lead as much as 15 in the fourth quarter.

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