Due to an improved defensive effort in the second half, Tucker raced past Hillgrove after halftime and earned a trip to the Class AAAAAA Final Four with a 66-52 home victory Thursday.
Ayinde Russell scored a game-high 29 points and fellow senior Bryce Brown added 16 for the Tigers, who will face Wheeler on Saturday night at Georgia Tech.
“I’m so excited about going to the Final Four,” Tucker coach James Hartry said. “I’m blessed and thankful.”
After a back-and-forth first half and similar start to the third quarter, Tucker took the lead for good on a jumper by Russell. On Hillgrove’s ensuing possession, the Tigers trapped at halfcourt, resulting in a steal by Josh Parker and a layup for Russell for a 39-35 edge.
Jourdan Julian (16 points) answered with a 3-pointer for the Hawks but the next nine points were scored by Tucker.
Brown sparked the run with a rebound and layup. Then Russell made a layup and senior Courtland Rogers tipped a rebound out to Russell for a 3-pointer. To cap things, Parker made another steal at halfcourt and Russell found Brown for a breakaway layup for a 48-38 advantage with 1:25 left in the quarter.
“In the second half, we stopped gambling,” Hartry said. “Those guys were too good to gamble on. I told the boys at halftime ‘let’s stay in front of these guys’ because every time we gambled it cost us in the first half. We made them take jumpshots with hands in their face and that was a difference maker.”
Before the frame ended, Kenton Eskridge (10 points) nailed a 3-pointer for a Tigers’ 51-40 lead entering the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Russell opened the frame with his third and final 3-pointer. For the remainder of the contest, Tucker maintained a double-digit lead and Brown and Rogers added to the excitement with dunks.
“Russell stepped up big for us tonight shooting the basketball,” Hartry said. “That is what you have to do this time of the year. If you want to advance, somebody has got to step up and get it done.”
As you may have heard, some of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are unhappy with the Advanced Placement U.S. history test and the College Board which administers the tests. The General Assembly is considering a Senate resolution to ask the test be removed from Georgia classrooms. Supporters of the resolution say the test leans left politically and has an ideological viewpoint that diminishes American history. The authors of the test say the AP U.S. history course is an advanced, college-level course — not an introductory U.S. history course — and is not meant to be students’ first exposure to the “fundamental narrative of U.S. history.” I think that is education-speak for saying kids should already know about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and Ray Charles. Trevor Packer, a Fulton County history teacher and College Board official was quoted in an Atlanta newspaper as saying the test has a lot of positive features, but admitted some things need to be revisited, like the description of former President Ronald Reagan’s military policies as “bellicose.” This kind of back-and-forth could go on for much of the Legislative session and slow the wheels of democracy. (I assume “democracy” is covered somewhere in the test. I sure hope so.) Slowing the wheels of democracy would mean lizard-loafered lobbyists might have to cancel dinner reservations with their pals in the General Assembly at some of the pricey restaurants in Atlanta. That could severely impact the state’s economy. In the spirit of public service and to be sure legislators don’t miss a free meal, I have put together what I believe is a reasonable compromise of the AP U.S. history test that should satisfy one and all. Read closely, please: 1. Explain why Ronald Reagan’s military policies were considered bellicose if he got the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall. Compare his policies to those of Barack Obama, who couldn’t scare a sand gnat. (10 points) 2. The Great State of Georgia is: A. The largest state east of the Mississippi River. B. The finest state on either side of the Mississippi River. C. Home of the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South. D. All of the above. (10 points) (An additional 25 bonus points if you pick “D.” Wink. Wink.) 3. Discuss the sinister role of the military/industrial complex in U.S. history, including why we bombed Pearl Harbor, invaded Poland and tortured and killed millions of people during World War II. (15 points) 4. If Jimmy Carter leaves Plains, traveling north at 60 miles per hour while Millard Fillmore leaves Buffalo, N.Y., traveling south at 72 miles per hour, how long would it take for anybody to give a rip what either of them thought about anything? (10 points) 5. In recent years, there has been a growing trend of U.S. citizens sneaking into Mexico illegally, getting drivers licenses, attending Mexican colleges and insisting the locals learn to speak English. In 50 words or less, explain how that makes sense. (10 points) 6. Only one governor in the nation’s history has (a) given an elephant a physical and (b) built a bunch of concrete fishponds. Name the governor: (5 points) A. Arnold Schwarzenegger B. Howard “Yah! Yah!” Dean C. George Wallace D. George E. Perdue (Wink. Wink.) 7. In the American Revolution, the English wore bright red coats and fought out in the open. Americans hid behind trees and shot people in bright red coats standing out in the open. Who won that war and why? (10 points) 8. In the War of 1812, the English wore bright red coats and fought out in the open. Americans hid behind trees and shot people in bright red coats standing out in the open. Who won that war and why? Hint: Refer to Question 7. (5 points) 9. Explain how California ever got in the Union in the first place and what can be done to get it out. Try to avoid words such as “you know” and “way rad.” (15 points) 10. Finally, describe what the U.S. Constitution would have looked like had it been written by a bunch of posturing state legislators in conjunction with College Board pointy heads. Warning: Do not be bellicose. (10 Points) I hope this new-and-improved history test will bring closure to the controversy and that I can get back to more important matters — like rearranging my sock drawer. The things I do for my country.
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