Barons rally for win, maintain GACC lead

Nobody promised the Brewton-Parker College men's basketball team that staying on top of the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference standings would be easy.

After narrowly beating Reinhardt College on Thursday night, the Barons found themselves down by 13 early to North Georgia College and State University in Brewton-Parker's homecoming game Saturday at the Student Activities Center.

A successful second-half mix of inside and outside play resulted in a 66-51 homecoming win for Brewton-Parker (19-10 overall, 12-3 GACC), which maintained its slim half-game lead in the conference entering this week's action.

"We were flat," said Barons coach Steve Barker, whose team fell behind 17-4 with 11:31 left in the first half and 27-19 at halftime after shooting just 32 percent from the floor, making just one 3-pointer out of nine.

After sophomore post Bryan Jett made all five of his first-half shots and drew the North Georgia defense inside, the Barons got outside help when junior guard Jarvis Smith hit three straight 3-point shots. The last two treys began a 19-5 run in which Jett scored nine points to put the Barons ahead 49-42 with 7:41 remaining.

"I think Bryan Jett was our key," Barker said of the 6-foot-7 Atlanta native, who also had five blocked shots and four rebounds. "Jarvis hit some big 3s that got us going."

The Barons were 15-for-31 from the floor in the second half and 14-for-15 at the line (93.3 percent), all coming after halftime.

North Georgia's shooting sank from 40.7 percent at halftime to 31.6 percent for the game after a 23.3 percent rate in the second half, but Barker said the Saints (10-19, 3-12) proved to be a formidable foe.

"Peter (Dees, assistant coach) told them after the game, 'They played you as hard as anybody all year long,'" Barker said of the Saints, who got 20 points and nine rebounds from freshman post Mark Trust.

Junior post Hector Solano followed Jett with 11 points, and his seven rebounds marched sophomore guard Toms Lokmanis for the team lead. Sophomore guard Tre Hill made six assists.

Jett sprained his ankle with 3:30 remaining and was expected to miss Monday's game at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, but Barker is hopeful that Jett will be healthy after a week's rest for their trip Monday, March 3, to Montgomery, Ala., to face Faulkner (20-6, 11-3 entering this week).

-30-