Linden leaps to regional finals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 22, 2007

MONTGOMERY &045; It’s a first for the Linden High School Patriots. Linden has emerged to new territory, as the Patriots reach the regional finals for the first time.

They were consistent, poised, and timely when needed. Linden dumped the Edward Bell Bears, 73-58 at the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s 1A Central Regional Tournament at Alabama State yesterday afternoon.

After playing the first quarter to a 17-point draw, the Patriot defense stepped up its pressure and caught the Bears off guard. The defense held Edward bell to 10-second quarter points, while offensively the Patriots converted on some easy buckets leading to a 25-point quarter, including seven consecutive points to open the quarter. They led 42-27 after 16 minutes of play, its largest lead of the game at that point.

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Linden had four players to reach double figures in scoring. Juniors Gary Williams, who drained two triples in the big second quarter and Sean Richardson each finished with 14 points. Senior Darnell Richardson and sophomore Kendarius Goodwill added 11 points each.

Both teams started the game with running on its minds, as Linden edged ahead 8-6 at the 4:19 mark of the first quarter. After getting over the aura of the college basketball court both teams settled down to a first quarter tie.

The Patriots would grow its advantage to double digits midway through the second quarter, taking getting scoring opportunities from the Bears turnovers.

The third and fourth quarters were played evenly, though Linden went up by 22 with 4:24 left in the game.

The Bears’ L.C. Turner led all scorers with 16 points.

S. Richardson of the Patriots grabbed 10 rebounds, a game high. Senior Jamarlin LeDuff pulled down eight boards to go with his eight points and four steals. Senior Myron Rogers came off the bench to contribute eight points, four of four from the field, and three steals in six minutes.

Linden returns to the hardwood to play for the regional championship. They will take on last season’s 1A state champs the St Jude Pirates. Tip-off is slated for Friday at 3 p.m. at Alabama State’s Joe L. Reed Acudome.