Red Level falls at regionals

Published 12:05 am Thursday, February 18, 2010

MOBILE — Red Level ended its season Wednesday night in the AHSAA Class 2A South Regional tournament, falling to defending state champions Barbour County 63-40 at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Center.

“It was good to have the opportunity to play the state champions,” Red Level coach Fred Kelley said.

The Tigers got off to a slow start in the first quarter, only putting up eight points compared to Barbour County’s 20.

Midway through the second quarter, Red Level started to claw its way back into the Jaguars’ lead, bringing its deficit to four points at 29-25 with 1:40 left in the first half.

Barbour County led 34-27 at halftime and then that’s where the Tigers came out a different team.

A third quarter momentum shift in Red Level’s favor kept the Jaguars at bay throughout.

Red Level’s O.J. McGee hit a slam dunk with 4:46 left in the third to stir up the crowd and his teammates.

A jumper by McGee again brought his team back down by five points at 39-34.

An essential put back by Red Level’s James Feagin kept Barbour County’s lead at 40-36 at the end of the third quarter.

Red Level couldn’t hold up to Barbour County (24-4) as the Jaguars made some adjustments to force the ball on the outside perimeter.

“We were in the two-one-two and we knew they were putting an extra guy behind us,” Barbour County coach Raymond White said. “We went to the one-three-one match up and secured that deal by putting the guy behind us.”

A three-pointer drained by Barbour County’s Takwain Whigham surged his team’s lead to 49-36 with 4:33 left in the contest.

Barbour County coach Raymond White said he knew what Red Level was doing to hold his team back.

The Tigers only added four additional points compared to the Jaguars’ 14 to end their season.

“We had to establish an inside game more so,” White said about the fourth quarter. “They had been double teaming us. On offense, we had Robert (Lampley) go down and post and hit the gap when he could and take the ball to the basket.”

Robert Lampley led Barbour County with 15 points. Willie Eutsey added 13 and Jh’Corri Milton had 10.

Red Level’s O.J. McGee led with 13 points, Trey Salter had 10, James Feagin had nine and Nick Dorsey had four.

The Jaguars were 9-of-15 from the free throw line and Red Level was 12-of-15.

Barbour County will advance to the regional finals to play Houston County on Saturday at 10:40 a.m.

Red Level finishes its season with a 17-12 record.

“We have a young bunch, so we’re excited to have another opportunity next year if the Lord is willing,” Kelley said.