East Gadsden High’s Jaguars knock off tall Orlando team

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By Joe Ferolito

East Gadsden High School hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. Shootout game Saturday night at the Jaguar Gym.

The selected opponent was Orlando’s Choice Academy, a charter school whose roster included several players over 6 feet, 5 inches tall.

When the game was over, the shorter Jaguars had run to a 63-58 win.

The game was played in spurts, with one team or the other building leads as high as six points. The Jaguars’ quickness seemed to frustrate Choice Academy and then the Orlando team’s height would control the boards and get the team back in the game.

At the end, though, guards Leonardo Delaney and Monterricus Thomas, along with forward Andre Robinson, made plays that pulled out the win for the Jaguars.

Deloney hit a pair of free-throws with 21 seconds left to put the Jaguars on top by two points after Thomas made a steal and scored a bucket seconds earlier. Robinson then snagged a rebound and Kelvin Derrico wrapped the game up with a pair of free-throws off an intentional foul.

"I was proud of the win," East Gadsden head coach Demetric Salters said. "It was big for not only us but the whole area. They came in here with what you might call a ‘recruited’ team and we showed we can play basketball in this area.”

Deloney scored 20 to lead the Jaguars. Thomas and Derrico had 14 each and D'Manier Cunningham popped in 10.

Bryan Delancy hit 20 and Kelyn Valdez scored 13 to lead Choice Academy.

It was the fifth win in a row for East Gadsden and they lifted their record to 12-4 for the season.

Last Tuesday they defeated district foe Godby 51-39 behind 18 points from Deloney and 14 from Cunningham.

The Jags traveled last Thursday night to Panama City and bested another district opponent. Bay High fell to the Jaguars 74-63 as they pulled away from a 32-all halftime tie.

Deloney had 23 points in that game with 17 coming in the second half. Thomas hit 17 for the game with 14 coming in the final two quarters. Andre Robinson scored 15 and Derrico 14 in the win.

East Gadsden hosted Chipley Tuesday. They play at Columbia County tonight. They play at Rickards Saturday and at Godby Tuesday.