Hours after laying to rest former Cedar Shoals standout basketball and football player Quentin Moses- who also starred locally at the University of Georgia and in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, the Jaguars advanced to the class 5A Sweet 16 with a wire-to-wire victory over Maynard Jackson.
“Today was a very an emotional day, I didn’t know it was going to hit me like it hit me.” Cedar Shoals head coach L’Dreco Thomas said afterwards. “I made my guys aware of the importance and the way Quentin played and the kind of person he was. I told them we were going to represent Quentin in the way he wanted us to play. The last conversation I had with Quentin he said ‘you gonna keep bowing out in the final four or are you going to go ahead and win that thang’ and that was in January. He was trying to tell me I had the tools and to go ahead and get it done.”
Cedar Shoals entered the floor for pregame warmups donning shooting shirts paying tribute to Moses with his basketball No. 44 on the back .
Stavion Stevenson got the ball rolling early for the the Jaguars with nine first quarter points. Stevenson finished with 15 of his game-high 24 points in the first half. Phlandrous Fleming was the only other Jaguar in double figures with 11. Snipe Hall finished with nine while A.J. Jones and Damarrea Lowe each chipped in eight points. The Jaguars led by as many as 20 points and never trailed in the 64-47 state tournament opener.
“I thought Stavion played an outstanding game. All the shots he took were right within the course of what we do and he was hot. The biggest thing he did tonight was play defense on (JaQuavis Hayes). He understood the scouting report, frustrated (Hayes), denied (Hayes) and did everything he could could tonight, he was amazing defensively,” Thomas said.
Stevenson held Hayes well below his average of over 22 points-per-game. Hayes finished with 11 points, seven in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach for Maynard Jackson.
Maynard Jackson (19-9) was led by Marquavis Carter’s 20 points. Keshun Byrd tallied 13 to go with Hayes’ 11.
Cedar Shoals (24-4) will travel to Stateboro (19-9) Thursday night in Sweet 16 action. Statesboro is the Region 2-5A champions and defeated Jones County 63-50 in the first round.