Buzzer-beater ends Franklin Co. season

Published 8:17 pm Friday, February 12, 2010


MEADVILLE – A buzzer-beating shot from 38-feet away by WilkinsonCounty’s Kenyon McDonald gave the Wildcats a stunning 71-70 victoryover the Franklin County Bulldogs in the opening round of theRegion 7-3A Tournament Wednesday night.

The Wildcats’ win assured them a berth in the playoffs, whilethe loss ended the Bulldogs season at 5-15 overall.

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Winter storm warnings forced tournament officials to postponeThursday’s games until Saturday and the championship fiinals untilMonday night.

“It’s a tough way to lose a game,” said Bulldogs head coachChris Jordan. “He (McDonald) was 10 or 15 feet behind thethree-point line when he shot it. We’ve lost a lot of close gamesthis season.”

McDonald, a silky smooth junior guard for the Wildcats (9-12)scored a game-high 33 points. His last basket was the mostmemorable, setting off a mid-court celebration by Wilkinson Countyplayers and coaches.

“Kenyon is a good kid and a very talented basketball player,”said Wildcats coach Arthur Clark. “That shot he made tonight to winthe game was just incredible.”

Wilkinson County trailed the Bulldogs 70-68 with three secondsremaining. Coach Jordan called a timeout after a inbounds play bythe Wildcats rolled off the foot of a Franklin County defender.After the 30-second break, McDonald cut through the Bulldogsdefense before receiving the ball near the Bulldogs scorer’s table,where he launched a nothing but net basket for the win.

“Our guys knew we were going to have a challenge,” added Clark,whose Wildcats are 3-0 this season against the Bulldogs. “FranklinCounty’s a good team and very well coached.”

Justin Jarvis aided the Wildcats with 12 points and 11 rebounds,including seven on the offensive end. McDonald and company beginthe game on a 7-0 run, before entering halftime deadlocked withFCHS at 40-all.

Franklin County 6-4 junior Derrick Bethley had a career game,scoring a game-high 28 points and blocking four shots beforefouling out late in the fourth quarter. Bethley had 20 points athalftime, compared to 22 points at the break by McDonald.

“We are a young team and we’ll be back,” said Jordan about hisBulldogs. “The future looks bright.”

FCHS replaced four starters off last year’s Region 7-3Achampionship team. Junior guard Milton Griffin, the lone starterreturning from last season’s team, scored 14 points and added sixassists, plus three steals. Senior forwards Tevin Thomas and EdwardMcGhee added 12 points.

Wilkinson 62, Tylertown 45

The Lady Wildcats also left Franklin County with a victory bybeating Tylertown. Wilkinson County was led by DeeSeanna Day with21 points. Lineasa Palmer added 18 points.

For Tylertown, Appreshia Sims had 14 points. Sharika McCleanchipped in with 12 points.

Saturday’s tournament schedule is as follows:


4 p.m. – GIRLS: Tylertown vs. Amite County

5:30 – BOYS: Jefferson County vs. Amite County

7:00 – GIRLS: Franklin County vs. Wilkinson County

8:30 – BOYS: Hazlehurst vs. Wilkinson County