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Syrupmakers win in overtime

Cairo’s Kendrick Kelly puts up a jump shot against Bainbridge.

The Cairo Syrupmakers defeated the Bainbridge Bearcats last Saturday night before a packed house in the Cairo Gym 71-69 in overtime. The Syrupmaids were beaten 64-27 by the Lady Cats in the first game of the night.
Despite being out of school for the Christmas holidays, fans nearly filled the Cairo High gym to see Bainbridge and Cairo meet up in the first basketball games on 2009. The Syrupmaids never could get going in the first game of the evening. Bainbridge jumped out to a 14-4 first quarter lead and never looked back. The Lady Cats outscored the Maids in every quarter on the night and built a 27-13 halftime lead.
Bainbridge outscored Cairo 18-6 in the third quarter and 19-8 in the final quarter to win 64-27. The Syrupmaids had trouble finding their shot all night. Cairo’s Kierra Addison led the Maids with eight points and JaCourtney Alexander and Lakisha Simon had four each. Eight of Cairo’s 27 points came from the free throw line. Cairo managed just one three point shot, by Kiyauna Masten.
“Sometimes you have one of those nights, and it happened to us Saturday night. But now, I thought we came back and had a great practice and we’re really working hard to get better,” said coach Lucy Baker.
In the late game, the Cairo Syrupmakers battled the Bearcats all night and hung on for the overtime win. “If you fight all night, other things will take care of themselves. We tell our guys to just keep keep fighting, just keep playing, and things will take care of themselves, like they did tonight,” said coach Isiah Chance. “We played a lot of games during the break and I think that really helped us. We’re learning to play together as a team now and that’s what we need as we head into the region games.”
Cairo led 21-15 after one quarter, and Bainbridge led 30-29 at the half after outscoring Cairo in the second quarter 15-8. The Cats increased their lead to 46-41 after three quarters. However, as coach Chance pointed out, the Makers kept fighting, outscoring the Bearcats 20-15 in the final quarter to tie the game at 61 at the end of regulation.
Cairo’s Terrell Bryant, who led all scorers with 24 points, netted eight points in the overtime period to lead the Syrupmakers to the win. In fact, Bryant’s three pointer in the final seconds clinched the win for the Makers.
Kentrail Brown finished with 22 points, while Scooby Bodiford, Kendrick Kelly and Vershawn Mannings each had six points.
Cairo faced Crisp County in a region contest Tuesday night and will play Perry at home Friday night at 6 p.m. before traveling to Thomasville to play Thomas County Central on Saturday night.

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