Barons gain 78-74 win over Eagles at neutral site


On a day the Brewton-Parker College men’s basketball team began thinking it was going to travel to play Reinhardt College and then had the game postponed, the Barons ended Thursday with a 78-74 victory over Reinhardt at a neutral site.


The Barons and Eagles played their Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference game at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta. Reinhardt is playing its home games this season at Cherokee County High School in Canton while the Eagles’ gymnasium is undergoing renovations.


However, Cherokee County schools were closed following the ice storm that hit north Georgia Wednesday night. While the women’s coaches agreed to trade their home sites and have their game Thursday night in Mount Vernon, Eagles coach Joe Kennamer wanted to reschedule the game toward season’s end.


With logistical problems arising, Barker asked Reinhardt officials to either join the women’s team and travel to Mount Vernon or find a neutral site. Southern Polytech’s gym, where Brewton-Parker lost a double-overtime game on Jan. 11, proved to be available and the teams played at the neutral site.


“I think we were comfortable knowing we had played well at Southern Tech, and we were able to get relaxed while watching the women’s game,” said Barker, whose team committed just 11 turnovers.


The Barons took a 38-34 halftime lead and rode five players scoring in double figures to victory by the same margin.


Barker said two shoes one by sophomore guard Toms Lokmanis with about 1:30 left and another by senior guard Derrick Hairston with under one minute remaining, proved key in fending off the Eagles, who tied the game several times late in the second half but never could take the lead.


“We were able to sustain our defensive pressure,” Barker said. “We did a good job on the perimeter. I told the guys that this was a statement game, to perform well on the road.”


Senior guard Gabe Bubon offset an otherwise off night from the 3-point line for both teams (a combined 25 percent) by hitting 3 of 7 treys on his way to scoring a team-high 17 points.


Lokmanis followed with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and sophomore post Bryan Jett also had 14 points with six perfect free throws along with a game-high nine rebounds.


Sophomore guard Trey Hill and junior guard Jarvis Smith added 10 points apiece for the Barons (11-9 overall, 4-2 GACC), with Hill making a team-leading six assists.


Reinhardt (8-12, 2-4) got 29 points and eight rebounds from junior forward Gathan White, who was one of three Eagles in double-figure scoring.