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Antoine Youmans allowed his team to board the bus home after few words.
The Battery Creek High School boys basketball coach told players their performance Saturday night was a learning experience for them and for Dolphins coaches. After Alter (Ohio) ran away with an 81-40 victory to claim the Bobcat Classic boys title, there was little to say.
"The best thing that you can look to do is learn from these situations and try to make that be a stepping stone for the rest of the season," Youmans said. "Of course, nobody likes to lose like this. We'll try to take the good out of it."
Frankfort (Ky.) defeated Atlanta school Douglass 57-45 to win the girls title. Panthers senior Shauntae Brown earned tournament MVP honors.
Frankfort led by only a point entering the final quarter, but finally stopped the Astros' runs on the break and held Douglass scoreless the final 3:56 while padding the winning margin at the free-throw line.
Battery Creek ran into a power. The Knights, a Division II Catholic school in Dayton, Ohio, have won three state titles. Coach Joe Petrocelli, in his 49th season, has won more than 800 games.
Alter found a spot in Bluffton's tournament after a tournament in Kentucky fell through.
The school boasts NBA brothers John and Jim Paxson among its alumni. And the Dolphins had the misfortune of meeting the player expected to become the school's leading scorer.
Senior guard Jaaron Simmons, who passed the 1,000-point mark the first week of the season, scored 33 on Saturday to lead the Knights. Simmons attacked the Battery Creek zone early, hitting from the outside and driving to the basket to convert lay-ups and get to the foul line.
The boys tournament MVP is considering several college options, Petrocelli said, and has received recent interest from Tennessee. Youmans had not seen Alter play the first two days of the tournament but changed tactics after Simmons burned the Dolphins early, attacking the guard with a trap and not sitting back in the zone.
But there was little stopping Simmons. And Battery Creek couldn't get comfortable on the offensive end.
"They couldn't score, and when you get off to a bad start that way, that's the way things happen," Petrocelli said.
The Knights' fast start swallowed Battery Creek, which defeated Bluffton in the opening round and won on a last-second shot Friday to reach the tournament final. Alter led 20-1 after the first quarter, shelving Battery Creek's hopes to play a competitive game.
"It's just tough to come back from that deficit early against a team like that," Youmans said. "We didn't attack enough. They stuck with their game plan."
Yuneek Crittendon again led the Dolphins in scoring, finishing with 17 points. No other Battery Creek player contributed more than four points.
Alter (Ohio) boys 81, Battery Creek 40
Alter-- Jaaron Simmons 33, Nate Burger 8, Darius Miller 6, Max Harnett 6, Reggie Henderson 6, Kraig Howe 6, Michael Spencer 3, Michael Schwieterman 3, Ben Joseph 3, Nick Coleman 2, Dean Lemon 2, Kevin Brown 2, Tanner Liggett 1. Battery Creek-- Yuneek Crittendon 17, Eric Freeman 4, Raheem Cooper 4, Miguel Crawley 3, Devontae Wilson 2, Charles Tolbert 2, Wendell Roberson 2, Adonis Williams 2, Savon Scales 2, Ikeem Powell 2.
Championship: Frankfort 57, Douglass 45
Third-place game: Brewbaker Tech 51, Bluffton 39
Fifth-place game: Whale Branch 62, Glynn Academy 57
Seventh-place game: Ridgeland-Hardeeville 48, Harvest Community 18
Girls all-tournament team
Shauntae Brown, Frankfort (tournament MVP)
Kemoni Jenkins, Whale Branch
Shelby Williams, Brewbaker Tech
Danesha Murray, Glynn Academy
Tiffany Banks, Bluffton
Jasmine Bigsby, Douglass
Brianna Burbidge, Frankfort
Jennifer Motton, Douglass
Championship: Alter 81, Battery Creek 40
Third place game: Brewbaker Tech 72, Ridgeland-Hardeeville 44
Fifth place game: Bluffton 58, McIntosh County 44
Seventh place game: Fisher Catholic 50, Groves 48
Boys all-tournament team
Jaaron Simmons, Alter (tournament MVP)
C.J. Frazier, Bluffton
Joe Delisio, Fisher Catholic
Trevon Scott, McIntosh County
Derrell Myers, Ridgeland-Hardeeville
Khalil Carter, Brewbaker Tech
Yuneek Crittendon, Battery Creek
Michael Spencer, Alter