By JOHN WILBERT / NEMS Daily Journal
NEW ALBANY – The New Albany High boys basketball team got a signature win on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs defeated Memphis-area power Briarcrest Christian 64-59 at Memorial Gym.
“They have a great program,” said New Albany head coach Brad Gray. Head coach John Harrington “does a great job with those kids.
“Year in and year out they are very, very competitive. … So, anytime you can beat a team like Briarcrest or a program like that, it’s a good win for you.”
Tadarious Coburn led the Bulldogs (6-1) with 23 points, as he scored 12 in the second quarter. He had two follow-up dunks and one flush off a steal in the game.
Chris Jones, who has been drawing the interest of SEC programs, scored a game-high 25 points for the Saints (3-2). Backcourt mate Demarc Richardson had 13.
New Albany trailed 15-11 after the first quarter, but was able to hold a 28-27 lead at halftime thanks to Coburn scoring 12 of the Bulldog’s 17 points in the second period.
The Saints went on a 7-2 to open up the second half and build a four-point lead at 34-30. The Bulldogs responded, though, and regained the lead on two free throws by Jevonte Newsome with 5:41 left in the third.
Newsome scored six of his nine points in the period as his team outscored Briarcrest 23-18 to lead 51-45 through three quarters of play.
The Bulldogs went up eight, 53-45, when Eric Chaney followed up his miss from the free-throw line with a putback.
Briarcrest pulled to within two, 61-59, with 25 seconds left, but a Kareem Brown free throw and a basket inside by a wide-open Malcolm Spears put the game away.
(G) New Albany 39,
Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) 37
It certainly wasn’t pretty, but USA Today’s 22nd-ranked team in the country did enough to stay undefeated.
Mica Washington led the Bulldogs (6-0) with 11, while Jazmine Spears, who was in foul trouble and sat for most of the first half, had eight.
Dakota Doss had 12 points to lead the Lady Saints (3-2), including three 3-pointers to spark a 17-0 Briarcrest run to start the second half.
With the score tied at 29-all entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Lady Saints 10-8 in the final period thanks to six points by Spears and four by Washington.
They out-dueled Briarcrest’s Adrienne McKay, who had seven of her 11 points in the final 12 minutes.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572