|Hal Lamar's Blog: Valley sistahs, Benedict brothers win SIAC tourney titles|
Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Valley sistahs, Benedict brothers win SIAC tourney titles
It’s been four years since Fred Watson and the Benedict boys from Columbia, South Carolina won all the marbles in the SIAC tournament. This year, they decided to take the hardware back to their own trophy case. Behind the 17 points and 14 rebound effort of Marcus Goode, arguably the best player in the conference, the Tigers knocked off the Magicians of LeMoyne –Owen College of Memphis Tennessee 58-42.
The scrappy Tennessee Magic men did manage to take a 32-29 lead at 12:30 of the second half but couldn’t seem to build on it despite the near Herculean efforts of senior Calvin Stoudemire who bucketed 20 points to lead all scorers in the March 3 game from Morehouse’s Frank Forbes Arena. Then the Tigers exploded with a 21 point run that surged them forward by 15.
Then with 1:42 remaining, Benedict sealed Lemoyne’s fate, outscoring their opponents 9-3. Goode, named the game’s MVP, said there was no doubt that the team would win and end their four year tournament losing drought. “No doubt,” said the 6-10 junior from Chapin South Carolina.” We just decided to keep playing the way we had been playing all tournament.”
Getting to the winners’ circle was no snap, however. The 4th seeded Tigers skirted past Stillman 86-85 to advance to the semi- finals against Fort Valley, which was probably still flying high on cloud 9 after upsetting number one seed Tuskegee 80-77 on day two of the tourney with a three pointer at the buzzer. The Tigers bested the Wildcats 74-53 for the chance to play LeMoyne, the number two seed which had to get by Albany State and scrappy Paine College to qualify for the big game. “We knew the game (with LOC) would be played from the top of the key to the top of the key,” said Benedict Head Coach Fred Watson. They like to transition and run up and down the court. We figured if we could stop that run and not give up that transition basket, we would have a chance. The team did a good job with that.”
The Lady Wildcats of Fort Valley and most notably the dead serious play of MVP senior Yasheeka Jones, faced a determined Tuskegee five but managed to hang on long enough with a good second half to defeat the Lady Goldens 59-52. It gave Head Coach Lonnie Bartley back-to-back tournament titles and sent him to his 19th NCAA post-season appearance.
2012 is the fourth year the tournament has been played in Atlanta after domiciling (and almost dying) in Birmingham Alabama. Although the tourney still wants for a bigger turnout, SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore was pleased. “Morehouse is a great host,” he told INSIDE. We like the way things are operating and we hope to grow the tournament over time.” Although any decision on where the 2013 tourney will be played is a matter to be taken up by the conference council of presidents, Moore says he is “ok with the tournament being in Atlanta.”
EXTRA POINTS: One of LeMoyne-Owens’ big rooters all week at the tourney was their former head basketball coach Jerry Johnson who sat quietly just behind the Magicians’ bench……
At halftime of the men’s game, fans were treated to some close order drill and rifle twirling from the ROTC drill team of Mundy’s Mill High School of Jonesboro Georgia……
Friends, relatives, former athletes, coaches and officials gathered March 3 to applaud the 60 year effort in athletics and education of Raymond “Tweet” Williams. Williams, a graduate of Clark-Atlanta University, taught, coached and was a principal with the Atlanta Public School system for nearly 60 years. His coaching protégés include Marvin Arrington, former president of the Atlanta City Council, one time Atlanta Brave slugger Mack Jones and Hamilton Holmes, who with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, were the first black students on the campus of the University of Georgia. He was a childhood friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and recalled to the near 300 in attendance at his testimonial dinner on the campus of his college alma-mater, a conversation he had with the civil rights icon just a few days before he went to Memphis Tennessee to help striking sanitation workers. “He told me, Tweet, I’m kinda nervous about this, “Williams remembers. “We talked about achieving our rights and the responsibility that goes with winning those rights. He agreed we needed to focus on that and said he would work on that with me when he got back to Atlanta. Well, you know the rest of the story.” Williams’ efforts over the years may soon get their just reward if retired NFL official and APS colleague Frank Glover can have his way. He announced at the dinner sponsored by the Clark-Atlanta Athletic Boosters Association that Williams has been nominated for inclusion into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for a select few. Glover, who sits on the Hall of Fame board, says he will work overtime to get Williams selected for the class of 2013……..
Fort Valley State University is still searching the woods and beating the bushes for a new athletic director. Truth is, their search could really extend only as far as their own sports information office. Their SID, Charles Ward, is qualified to handle the job. At the very least, the FAMU graduate who holds a law degree should at least be brought in for an interview……
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|Last Updated ( Mon Mar 5, 2012 - 11:11pm )|