NE Regional: Holly Pond wins shootout in 3A boys final
by Joe Medley
jmedley@annistonstar.com
Feb 23, 2013 | 3816 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE -- Today’s Northeast Regional Class 3A boys’ final featured two teams that press and run, with Holly Pond and Pisgah combining for 70 fouls and 68 turnovers.

They also combined for a lot of points, with Holly Pond winning 107-95 in Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum.

The Broncos (25-5) advanced to the state semifinals in Birmingham for the first time since 1988. They will join the school’s girls team, which beat Ashville just before the boys’ game.

The boys’ team will play the South Regional champion, either Cottage Hill or Southside-Selma, on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in the BJCC Arena in Birmingham. Cottage Hill and Southside-Selma play today in Dothan.

Holly Pond’s Gunter Morris scored a game-high 31 points today. Teammates Colby Adams and Austin Smith added 21 apiece.

Blake Holmes led Pisgah (19-11) with 21 points. Dillon DeMarco added 15, Cory Guffey 12 and Hunter Gant 11 in a game that produced lots of extreme stats.

Each team was called for 35 fouls. A combined five players fouled out. Holly Pond went 34-for-48 from the free-throw line, and Pisgah was 34-for-51.

Holly Pond coach Mitch Morris said he had never seen a game like it.

“And I hope I don’t see another one like it forever,” he said. “One of the officials come by, and I said, ‘Don’t blow the whistle and just let us play for about three or four minutes. That would be outstanding.’

“It seemed like every 10 to 20 seconds, there was a whistle.”

Actually, it was a foul every 27.4 seconds. That’s not counting whistles for turnovers that went out of bounds and timeouts.

After the game, Northeast Regional coordinator Mark Jones said this year’s version finished with the second-worst attendance in the tourney’s 20-year history, about 17,900 over six days. The worst attendance (16,861) came in the tourney’s first year, 1994.

For the first time since 2001, no team from host Calhoun County reached any of the 12 boys’ and girls’ finals over six classifications.
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