MHS pulls off first round upset of Jemison

Published 3:19 pm Thursday, January 4, 2018

The upset of the tournament so far took place on Jan. 3, when the Maplesville Red Devils shook up the varsity boys bracket with a 49-42 victory over Jemison.

However, it should not be much of a surprise, as this year’s county tournament was expected to be evenly matched among the teams, especially on the boys side.

It is expected for teams in the county tournament to be very familiar with their opponents. However this matchup took it a step further, as Maplesville head coach Stacy McGehee faced off against his former team.

“That was a hard game for me to coach,” McGehee said.

This is McGehee’s first year patrolling the bench at Maplesville and now he already has a signature win that should help as he moves forward in the early stages of molding his team.

“We’re finding out that we’re more of a transitional scoring team, than in the half court,” McGehee said.

The Red Devils trailed at the end of the first three quarters, but grabbed the lead early in the fourth quarter, thanks to a three-point play from Michael Harris, and remained in front the rest of the way.

It was an emotional game for Stacy McGehee to coach, as he led Maplesville against his former team. (Photo by Damian Mitchell/Special)

One of the key matchups was in the paint, where Jemison’s Ryan Thompson and Maplesville’s Nathaniel Watson battled for position throughout the game.

“He had me in the height advantage, but I had him in weight and size,” Watson said.

Watson used his physical nature and held his own against the taller Thompson, who finished with 12 points on the night.

“They’ve got quality big guys inside,” McGehee said. “Ryan [Thompson] had a few blocks tonight, but you’ve got to keep challenging them. We did a good job on the defensive end holding them to one shot.”

After a sluggish opening quarter, both offenses began to come alive in the second quarter, as Jemison led 21-16 at the halftime break.

The teams found success from long range and combined for nine three-pointers in the game.

Daniel Martin of Jemison looked quite comfortable from beyond the arc with a trio of three-pointers in the second quarter.

Chaz Morris led the Red Devils with 11 points.

Maplesville will face No. 2 seed Verbena in a semifinal matchup in the CCHS Gymnasium on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m.

Jemison and Chilton County have made a habit of meeting each other in the boys county championship in recent years, but with the Panthers loss that will not be the case this year.