GHS Tigers to host area tournament

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

With the season basketball season winding down and area tournaments looming on the horizon, now more than ever, teams need to finish the season on a positive note.

Saturday, the Greenville High School Tigers made the decision to control their own destiny by picking up a pair of wins.

That's just what they did.

The Tigers loaded the buses Friday and Saturday for back-to-back road trips to Ozark and to Eufaula.

In probably one of the most important regular season games that the Greenville Tigers participated in, they claimed a 57-44 victory over Eufaula High School to claim the area championship and in turn, host the Class 5A Area 3 Tournament.

"Before we even played our first game, we talked about our first goal was to host the area tournament," said Randy Fullington, coach of the Greenville Tigers. "Before every area game this season we emphasized that goal. It's good to see the first goal come through. The next one of course is to make it to sub-regional tournament."

The area tournaments are slated to begin Feb.4 and run though Feb. 5.

"Having the tournament here will help us a lot," said Isiah Mack. "We haven't had the area tournament in Greenville since 1995. we are trying to go all the way, trying to go to state it's going to be a huge advantage for us to have the tournament here."

Another advantage to having the tournament in Greenville will be that the fans will be predominately fans of the black and gold of the Tigers.

"The fans are on our side," said Devoski McMeans.

McMeans led the charge for the Tigers, finishing with 20 points as the visiting Tigers jumped in front for a 13-11 first quarter lead.

Greenville outscored their opponents 13-5 in the second period to push ahead 26-16 at the intermission.

Eufaula fought back in the third period, cutting the 10-point margin to eight points at the end of the third period, 35-27.

In the fourth and final frame, both teams experienced an offensive explosion as Greenville was able to stay five points better than their competition, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter while the home standing Tigers scored 17.

Despite the offensive fireworks, Eufaula was unable to claim the lead when the final horn sounded.

"The first time we played them was at our place and they didn't have their leading scorer," said Fullington.

"I was kind of curious to see how we were going to handle them with him back in the floor. But when we played them Saturday, our defense shut him and the rest of the team down."

Mack joined McMeans in being the top scorer with 13 points.

Another Tiger that had a big night against the Eufaula was Gaviston Warren. Although his stats didn't show it, according to Fullington, Warren is a huge part of this team.

"Gaviston has a definite court presence and he handles the pressure of the game really well," said Fullington.

"Most of the time he's the glue that holds this team together. For us to be successful in the area tournament, we've got to have him be on. He's a good ball handler and he sees the court really well. Even though he's only had one game where he was the team's leading scorer, he's a huge part of our team."

For Eufaula, Jeremy Hill and Omer McElroy finished with a combined 22 points. The last time the two teams met, Hill torched the Tigers for 22 points alone.

The game was very physical with Eufaula recording 17 fouls and Greenville recording 10, another telling factor was that Greenville outscored their competition in points in the paint, 26-20. Greenville also out rebounded their competition 23-17

With the 57-44 victory, Greenville finishes the conference portion of their schedule with one loss.

Had the Tigers fallen to Eufaula, which would put them in a head-to-head tie with a victory over each other, the equation would have been complicated even further had Eufaula lost at Charles Henderson in Troy last night.

That would have given all three teams a spot in the log-jam for first place.

Before the Tigers made the trip to Eufaula, they had to travel to Carroll-Ozark to dispatch a group of wounded Eagles.

"We were able to jump out to a big lead and maintain that lead throughout the game," said Fullington.

"Josh Hawkins and Curtis Fields were big down low on the glass and they did a big job keeping Carroll off the boards. We also had big scoring from Devoski with 30 points and Isiah with 13 points. Devoski was on fire. It was one of those nights that he was definitely in the zone. He could have dropkicked it from half court and it would have gone in. it was just one of those nights for him."

Despite the Tigers accomplishing one of their goals, their season is still not over.

Greenville has dates with Jefferson Davis High from Montgomery and T.R. Miller High from Brewton this weekend.

The JD game is also homecoming for the Tigers and will feature the G-Hi steppers, recognition of alums from 1964-65, 74-75, 84-85 and 94-95 and will also crown a Mr. and Mrs. Basketball 2004-2005. If anyone has any questions about the event, please call Greenville High School, 382-2608.