Memphis Douglass eliminates A-E, 72-49

By Steve Williams

With only one senior in its starting lineup this season, Austin-East will have a good chance to return to the BlueCross Basketball Championships next year. The Roadrunners, however, will need to improve on last week’s showing if they want to advance in the state tourney bracket.

A-E played only one good quarter in the Class 2A quarterfinals and lost to undefeated Frederick Douglass 72-49 at MTSU’s Murphy Center in Murfreesboro.

Coach Denard Bertram’s team outscored the Red Devils 22-12 in the third period to pull within five points, but Douglass slammed the door with a 25-7 advantage in the final eight minutes.

The victory vaulted the Memphis team (34-0) into the semifinals, while Austin-East’s season ended at 23-12.

Jarmon Britton, a 6-4 junior forward, powered Douglass with 20 points and eight rebounds, despite sitting out several minutes after picking up his fourth foul late in the third period. Marjavis Chandler added 15 points.

The Cherry brothers – freshman Condis and junior Shane – led the Roadrunners with 16 and 14 points, respectively, but each committed seven turnovers.

Shane Cherry, a Mr. Basketball Finalist who averaged over 27 points in the regular season, hit only 2 of 6 three-point shots.

Senior Jaxon Young tallied six points (all on free throws) and led A-E on the backboards with 10 rebounds. Senior DeMarcus Allen chipped in five points and collected seven boards. Center Juwaan Troutman scored only two points but grabbed eight rebounds.

For the game, Austin-East shot only 28 percent from the field (16 of 57), made 6 of 26 three-pointers (23 percent) and connected on 11 of 19 free throws.

A-E out-rebounded Douglass 41 to 32, but committed 29 turnovers to Douglass’ 23.

The Red Devils were on target on 9 of 12 field goal attempts in the first period to take a 23-13 lead.

A little over halfway through the second period, the game had turned sloppy, with a lot of fouls, turnovers and missed shots.

After Shane Cherry hit a NBA-long 3-pointer to pull the Roadrunners to within seven (27-20), Douglass ended the half with an 8-0 run to go up 35-20.

Condis Cherry scored five of his points in Austin-East’s 14-2 run in the third period that cut Douglass’ lead to 37-34.

A-E was down only 47-42 going into the final period, but Douglass’ strong finish turned the close game into a rout.