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Jonesboro, Ola split in
region tilts

By Lance Field

Special to the Daily

With the State playoffs just around the corner, Ola Coach Curt Miller has his team peaking at just the right time. The Mustangs had won five games in a row before dropping a tough four point loss to second place North Clayton last Friday.

Friday night Jonesboro traveled to Ola looking to sew up at least a share of the Region 4-AAAA regular season title.

With a raucous student section doing their best Cameron Crazies impression, Ola outlasted Jonesboro 42-39 in a game that went down to the final seconds.

Will Parker's free throw with 2.7 seconds left put Ola up three. After a Cardinal time out Antonio Gardner's desperation three bounced off the rim to give the Mustangs their sixth win in their last seven games.

Jonesboro jumped out to an early 7-2 lead with Stanley Clark scoring the first five points of the ballgame. Defense though began to be story as both teams forced turnovers and difficult shot attempts.

Mid-way through the second, Tim Mason picked Clark's pocket near half court and went the distance to cut into Jonesboro's largest lead of the half.

Mario Cummings closed the first half with an old fashioned three point play that sent Ola to the locker room with a 24-16 deficit.

Miller saw his team start the second half with an 8-2 run that put the home team down two. Clark then answered with a three point play of his own to send the lead back to five.

Jessie Jenkins then grabbed a rebound, scored and was fouled. His three point play made it a 32-31 score heading into the final stanza.

Two minutes into the fourth, Ola took its first lead of the game as Troy Swanson hit a short runner in the lane. Swanson scored on the next possession to put the Mustangs up 35-32 with four minutes remaining.

Down the stretch Dan Maehlman's team had several opportunities from the charity stripe but converted only 3 of 8 free throws. A Clark free throw with 1:45 remaining made it a 39-35 score.

Clark led all scorers with 16 points on the night. After an Ola turnover, Jesse Gardner sank a pair of free throws to pull Jonesboro to within two at 39-37. Parker who led Ola with 14 points then scored in the lane to make it a 41-37 lead with 1:15 left.

Martese Meadows cut the lead to two with one minute to go but their comeback fell short.

In the girls game, the Lady Cardinals left little doubt that they deserve their number 5 State Ranking as well as their 22-1 record.

Jonesboro dominated from start to finish as they dismantled Ola 63-20. Head Coach James Fields watched as his team stormed out to a 21-1 lead after one quarter. The Lady Cardinals added to that lead thanks in part to Joi Holyfield who poured in 10 first half points.

Holyfield led all scorers with 14 points on the night. Ola coach Chris Gardner substituted liberally to keep a fresh squad on the court, but the withering Jonesboro defense forced several turnovers

The Lady Cardinals cruised to their 23rd win of the season and look to make noise in the upcoming palyoffs. Jordan Brown led Ola with five points while Tailor Anderson and Morgan Knowels each added four.

With the State playoffs just around the corner, Ola Coach Curt Miller has his team peaking at just the right time. The Mustangs had won five games in a row before dropping a tough four point loss to second place North Clayton last Friday.