QUITMAN — Jefferson County (Fla.) attacked Brooks County with a sizzling fourth-quarter rally that nearly wiped away a 20-point scoring margin.
The scoring barrage that spanned nearly a full minute’s worth of clock wasn’t enough, however.
Behind 21 points from Michael Edmonds, 16 from Willie Edwards and 15 from Malcolm Brown, the Trojans (4-4, 0-1 Region 1-2A) ended a three-game slide in a 75-63 victory in the boys’ consolation game on the final day of the Denise Monroe Classic at Brooks County High School on Friday night.
The Tigers (1-8) took advantage of Brooks’ starters coming off the floor in the final minutes.
“We kind of let them right back in it,” Trojans coach Brandon Dawkins said.
Leading 65-45 with 4 minutes remaining, the Tigers went on a quick 5-1 run and cut the gap to 11 with 2:32 to play. Treon Patrick hit a layup and, after the Tigers scored off a stolen inbounds pass, Jacquez Hughes added three rapid-fire 3-pointers.
A pair of foul shots from Elijah Bellamy brought Jefferson within 68-61 with 2:01 left, but that’s as close as the team from Monticello, Florida, would get to threatening the Trojans in this one.
The Trojans went to the locker room with a 35-17 halftime advantage. They pulled ahead by 20 with less than 4 minutes remaining in the third after Edmonds scored from under the basket. Jamarion Herring passed to a cutting Ahmad Sanders for a transition layup that extended the lead to 51-27 just 2 minutes later.
Dawkins’ halftime message was a simple one.
“Don’t take this team for granted,” he said. “We played this team earlier and beat them by about 40, so I told them do not take this team for granted because a lot of times when you play a team a second time they can make adjustments on you.
“My guys kind of didn’t take that to heart.”
Hughes kept the Tigers in the game with his hot shooting from beyond the arc. He made eight second-half 3s that provided Jefferson the needed boost to cut the deficit.
Brooks returns in the new year to region action. The Trojans host Thomasville on Jan. 6.