Barons beat Ga. Southwestern on road, lose to Faulkner at home

By Bill Glass
BPC Public Relations

MOUNT VERNON -- "Will the real Brewton-Parker Barons please stand up?"

By now that is what Steve Barker, coach of the Brewton-Parker College men's basketball team, must be asking as he wonders which team is going to step out on the floor on any given night.

Last week the Barons continued their schizophrenic ways by playing poorly in a 74-49 loss at home to Faulkner University (Ala.) on Thursday, Jan. 13, then going on the road Saturday to visit tough rival Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, where they played brilliantly and came away with a convincing 81-68 win.

Saturday's win improved Brewton-Parker's overall record to 7-7 and to 2-2 in Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference play.

"I knew within the first five minutes Saturday that they had come to play," said Barker of the Southwestern game, which the Barons led all the way and were ahead 38-32 at the half. "They probably saw the score from our loss to Faulkner on Thursday and were looking past us, anticipating an easy win."

Instead, the Barons dominated in just about every category, making 46 percent of their shots against just 37 percent for Southwestern. The Barons out-rebounded the Hurricanes 41-30.

Brewton-Parker had two players with double-doubles: junior post Bryan Jett of Hampton, who had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman guard Stanley Johnson of Atlanta, who had 15 points and 10 boards.

Senior post Hector Solano of Miami, Fla., contributed 15 points to the Barons' winning effort and sophomore guard Adrian Sing of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, put in 12.

The Hurricanes (8-8, 1-3) had three players in double figures, led by junior guard Lakeith Person's 19 points.

"We mixed up our defenses all night switching back and forth from our 2-3 zone to man-to-man," Barker said "It kept them off balance."

With two minutes to go in the game, Southwestern hit a 3-point shot to narrow the gap to nine but then had to start fouling to stop the clock. The Barons, who shot 75 percent from the line on Saturday, made their free throws to arrive at their 13-point margin at the end.

"I was really pleased that we were able to bounce back after such a poor performance Thursday," Barker said.

"It wasn't the full court press that hurt us in the Faulkner game; we were prepared for that and handled it. But their half-court, man-to-man kept us from running our sets effectively, taking us out of our game."

After trailing the Faulkner Eagles by as much as 20 points in the first half, junior reserve guard David Byrne of Rincon sparked a run when he came into the game, quickly scored with a lay-up caused a turnover on the other end then got back in time to get open for a pass and another easy bucket.

Thus energized, the Barons upped their intensity and cut the Eagles' lead to nine at the half. That was the high-water mark, however. "We started out the second half with nothing left in the bank, either physically or mentally," Barker said.

At the 15-minute mark, realizing that this was not going to be the Barons' night and that the Southwestern game loomed, Barker decided to rest his starters and give the reserves some playing time.

Freshman guard Ryan Rodgers of Atlanta responded well scoring 11 points on the night, while Byrne finished with eight.

Barker also took the opportunity to play two Barons who recently became eligible; Sing and freshman guard Joel Almeida of Cape Verde.

For the Eagles, sophomore swingman Lamont Cobb had 16 points and sophomore forward Teon Jefferson had 14 points. Faulkner (10-7, 1-3 after a loss Saturday) shot a robust 46 percent from 3-point range to 38 percent for Brewton Parker. Overall shooting percentage was more decisive, 54 percent for the Eagles, 38 percent for the Barons.

"We looked like we were walking around in wet cement against Faulkner," said Barker. "The guys really showed me something by bringing their effort up and bouncing back on Saturday."

The Barons face two more tough conference games this week, they play North Georgia College and State University at home Thursday at 8 p.m. then head to Reinhardt College in Waleska on Saturday for a 3 p.m. match-up.

Barker hopes to see the real Barons at both of these games "We need to do a better job of being mentally prepared every night we play," he said.



Brewton-Parker College freshman guard Stanley Johnson (right) of Atlanta drives to the basket against Faulkner University (Ala.) freshman guard Quentin Phillips during the teams' Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference game Jan. 15 at the Student Activities Center on the Brewton-Parker campus in Mount Vernon. (Photo by Charles Conkin)