Rivals may have clashed for the last time
By By Aaron Carpenter, Staff Correspondent
BEAR GRASS — The Jamesville Bullets handled the Bears of Bear Grass a 61-41 loss Tuesday night. But the game was only half the story at Bear Grass High School.
Before tip-off, both teams and their cheer squads gathered at half court in a show of unity to protest the decision of the Martin County Board of Education to merge Jamesville High and Bear Grass with Williamston and Roanoke High Schools respectively.
The Bear Grass band then played both schools’ alma maters before launching into a stirring rendition of the national anthem.
Coach Almer Reddick of Bear Grass noted that “you have to give all the credit to the students for that. Both teams want to come together to show unity at center court. It good to win ball games, but it’s all about the character and the class of student athletes. Everything you needed to know about this game you saw at the very beginning.”
Then it was game time.
Seth Hines of Bear Grass scored his team’s first nine points in the opening four minutes of the first quarter to give the Bears the lead 9-5.
The Bullets, who got scoring from just about every member of the team, battled back over the next two minutes to take the lead 10-9.
The Bears then went on a 6-2 run in the last two minutes of the half, highlighted by Josh Greenhaw’s break-away lay-up, to end the first quarter with a lead of 15-12.
At the start of the second quarter, Jamesville’s height and athleticism began to dominate as Bear Grass got cold from outside.
Reddick remarked “that’s kind of been our M.O. all year. We’re dealing with guys that are a little bit bigger on the front line than we are. Their athletic ability and size began to take over.”
Justin Barr of the Bullets scored 10 of his team-leading 12 points in the second, eight of which came in the first two minutes, as Jamesville outscored the Bears 19-6 for the quarter to take a 10 point lead, 31-21, into the half.
The third quarter didn’t go much better for the home squad, and the Bullets ripped off a 10-0 run to push the lead to 20 in the first two minutes.
The Bears could not be made to give up, however. They never got closer than the 17 they were down in the third, but they did credit to their school and their coaches by playing hard down the stretch.
Despite being down 24 at the end of the third, Bear Grass managed to out-score Jamesville in the final quarter, 13-9.
After the game, Coach Jerry Ange of Jamesville said, “it was a real hard-fought ball game. Both teams played with a lot of class.”
The women of Bear Grass were able to claim a win for their school as well, beating Jamesville 39-28.
The Lady Bears took the lead on the first bucket of the game, a nice shot by Oliva Peaks, and although the Lady Bullets came close at times, Bear Grass never relinquished that lead.
The first quarter, albeit a bit sloppy, was close as the two teams struggled at times to find their rhythm. The Lady Bears had a 7-5 edge at the end of the first.
Over the first five minutes of the second quarter, Bear Grass went on a 9-2 run to extend its lead to 18-7.
Undaunted, Jamesville took it to the Lady Bears in the final three minutes of the half, out-scoring them 8-2 behind a couple of nice buckets from Emilie Cooper, the second of which came with a mere two seconds left on the clock. That kept the game close as Bear Grass took only a five point lead, 20-15, into the locker room.
The teams played evenly coming out for the third quarter, with neither squad able to take advantage over the other. The ladies combined for only 12 points in the third, earning an equal six apiece.
Guard Corey Ange of Jamesville picked up an early foul in the third quarter to give her four for the game, and had to watch from the bench for much of the second half.
It was clear in the fourth quarter how much her team needed her.
Turnovers by Jamesville and the resuscitation of the Lady Bears’ outside shooting game allowed Bear Grass to extend the lead to 14 with just over two minutes remaining. Jamesville got it a little closer over the remaining minutes, but it was the Lady Bears’ day on the court.
Jamesville 12 19 21 9 — 61
Bear Grass 15 6 7 13 — 41
Justin Barr 12, Jermaine Smith 11, D. Barr 9, Lilley 7, Bell 7, Wisher 4, Cooper 4, Hardison 3, Pierce 3, Trueblood 1
BEAR GRASS (41)
Seth Hines 15, Greenhaw 9, Roberson 5, Bland 4, Harrison 3, Haislip 2, Johnson 2, Greenhaw 1