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Adams, unbeaten Central defeat Comets

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Just a few seasons ago, Central Gwinnett's boys basketball program got some unwanted attention for who left as two high-profile players transferred out of the county.

But those moves were forgotten long ago as head coach David Allen focuses on what he's got currently -- a pretty good basketball team. And an undefeated one at that.

The Black Knights continued their impressive start to the season Tuesday night with an 81-75 win over defending Region 8-AAAAA champion South Gwinnett, improving to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the region.

Super sophomore Jordan Adams had a huge game with 30 points and 14 rebounds, leading the way on a night when all five Central starters scored in double figures. Steady senior point guard Brian Williams added 15 points, while Kyron Anderson, Kwabena Frimpong and Ayo Madamidola scored 10 each.

Those four are seniors, returning from a team that upset 7-AAAAA champ Collins Hill in the state playoffs last season.

"We feel good, we feel like we should be in this position," Williams said of the unbeaten start. "The team's jelling right now. We feel like we should be here. We feel like we can win the region."

The balanced scoring held off a second-half rally by the Comets, who played the second half without Adonis Harrison. The reigning 8-AAAAA player of the year was ejected in the first half after two technical fouls, both for hanging on the rim on two of his three dunks. Harrison already had eight points and eight rebounds when he left with 1:18 left in the first half.

Chad Ross (16 points, eight rebounds) also did most of his work in the first half, working hard on the glass with Harrison to offset an 0-for-12 first half of 3-point shooting by the Comets. Central built a 39-31 edge at halftime behind solid shooting (16-for-33) and Adams' 18 points and 10 rebounds.

South (1-2, 1-2) and John Harris didn't quit, though. Harris scored 21 of his team-high 23 points in the second half, including 15 in the third quarter. Javonte Maynor had 12 of his 19 points after the break, helping the Comets make a few runs.

"Every time we went up eight or nine, they would come back," Allen said.

The gap closed to a point with 2:06 left on a Maynor basket, but Frimpong and Adams scored the next four points to seal the win. Adams scored 12 in the second half, made 6 of 6 free throws and had two important three-point plays, both when the Comets had trimmed the lead to two points.

"(South) did a good job of defending Jordan in the second half, but he's a great player," Allen said. "And we had some other players really step up."

Frimpong, Anderson and Williams combined for 24 second-half points and Central made just enough free throws to win, making 10 of 17 in the fourth quarter. The senior-laden team didn't play a perfect game -- South got some open looks and made 7 of 12 3-pointers in the second half -- but it didn't matter.

Central's unbeaten start was still intact.

"It is fun," Allen said of the 6-0 record. "But at the same time we've got to keep the kids grounded. We haven't won anything yet."