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MABLETON — Pebblebrook literally stormed out of the locker room to an early double-digit lead against South Cobb, turning this Cobb County rivalry into a rout.
Alabama commit and senior Collin Sexton finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Falcons to an 83-53 home win over the Eagles on January 11.
“Everybody played hard from start to finish,” Sexton said. “We had a game plan just to rebound and play defense–nothing else. Because if we do that then we are going to win pretty much any game because we are going to execute our plays on offense.”
Junior Mervin James was next in the scoring column with 14 points and senior Elias Harden had 12 points and 10 boards for Pebblebrook, which won its fourth straight game.
“We just played our style of basketball–aggressive and attacking,” Pebblebrook coach George Washington said. “I was upset with the guys because we didn’t do a good job of rebounding. We gave them too many second chance opportunities. We got to do a better job of rebounding because our initial defense has been great all year.”
Back in December, the Falcons (10-5) won by eight and scored the same amount of points. But early on in the rematch, Pebblebrook didn’t want South Cobb to have any hope of possibly avenging that loss.
“I think the difference was that we played together as a team,” Sexton said.
Junior Drue Drinnon (11 points) scored the first four points of the game on layups, and Sexton found James for another layup and a 6-0 score. After 6-9 sophomore Jared Jones blocked a dunk attempt by Trevin Wade to extend the Eagles’ drought, Sexton netted two foul shots and capped the run with a layup.
“We had a great warmup and we were ready to go,” Sexton said. “The energy of the crowd was crazy so it brought a lot of intensity.”
After Wade (15 points) made a foul shot to put South Cobb on the scoreboard and end the 10-0 run with 5:49 left in the quarter, the Eagles crept back within five but wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the way.
Later in the frame, Sexton pushed the Falcons’ lead back to double digits but Wade, who struggled to shoot from the arc, nailed a desperation heave from 3-point range for a 22-15 score heading into the second quarter.
Over the next eight minutes, the margin remained the same until Harden beat the halftime buzzer with a short jumper for a 38-26 score at the break.
Early in the third, Pebblebrook stretched its advantage to 15 points before the blowout began. First, James capped an 8-0 run with a breakaway dunk for a 53-32 lead with 3:26 left in the quarter. Then during the remaining 3:26, Drinnon and Dwight Murray (nine points) both turned steals into layups to highlight the 8-2 surge for a 61-34 score heading into the final quarter.
“When you get everybody involved teams can’t defend us because we got five guys that can score the basketball,” Washington said. “Mervin, Elias, Drue, Collin, Jared–all of those guys can score then we got D.J. who can be starting at almost any high school in Georgia. I bring him off the bench and he’s instant offense and defense.”
Senior Ralueke Orizu had a solid showing of 10 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the Eagles, who fell to 12-3 overall.
On January 13, the Falcons return to region play at home against defending champion Westlake.
“It’s going to be a doozy,” Washington said.