Eagles win for chance at South Central title

Published 11:55 pm Friday, February 17, 2012

LEARNED — After a couple of games as non-factor, Talbot Buys bounced back in a big way Friday night at the MAIS Class A South Central Tournament.

The 6-foot-8 senior center was a force at the rim, scoring off the block and altering shots on the defensive end. Russell Christian did not have an answer as Porters Chapel Academy advanced easily into tonight’s championship game with a 68-43 rout.

PCA (22-4) will face Newton Christian Academy at 7:15 p.m. for the South Central title. The Eagles crushed the Generals 56-31 last week to win the District 5 championship.

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Buys had just two points in that game, but against Russell, he dominated. Buys finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three blocks. He altered a dozen other shots as Russell missed 19 shots in the decisive second and third quarters.

“I pretty much haven’t done much the past few games. But tonight, I wanted to play like I was the tallest guy in the district,” Buys said. “I tried to block shots when I could. We also put in a new offense this week and I liked it a lot.”

The Eagles went to a four-out, with Buys isolated on the post. He racked up nine points in the third quarter to help PCA turn the game into rout.

PCA coach E.J. Creel said the new look came from an offense her sister, Brittany Willis, ran under Donny Fuller at Warren Central.

“We put in a new offense this week and it created a lot more for Talbot and gave us more spacing,” Creel said. “Talbot played huge for us. He was so mentally in the game. But what I liked what we did is that a lot of times we waited for the second or third cut. Tonight was our most complete game by far.”

Russell was good early, grabbing a 14-10 lead after Dylan Nolan hit four of five free throws and Jordan Lowe drained a 3-pointer.

The Eagles were down 14-13 after one quarter, but took the lead for good after a

driving basket by Ted Brisco. He followed it with a 16-foot jumper. Back-to-back 3-point plays from P.J. Lassiter and Brisco made it 26-16 with 3:06 left before half. The half closed with PCA up 30-19.

Even after Buys went to the bench with his third foul with 2:55 left in the third quarter, the Eagles were up 44-28. A change to the speed line-up knocked the spread out to 22 as Peter Harris scored five points off the bench.

All six of the PCA’s regulars scored at least seven points. P.J. Lassiter finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Brisco had 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, while Alton Burden had 10 points and two steals. Harris and Kawayne Gaston had seven points each.

Nolan led Russell Christian with 15 points and Lowe had 12.