The Buccaneers found ways to neutralize New Manchester big man Glenn Holloway, and they rolled to a 72-43 victory in the Region 5AAAAA quarterfinals Monday.
The victory means Allatoona (25-1) will face Villa Rica on its home floor in the second region semifinal game tonight.
To try to take Holloway out of the game, the Buccaneers gave the job to 6-5 Rodney Brown.
When the final seconds ran off the clock, Brown had 14 points, while Holloway was sitting on the bench after fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
“Honestly, we lined up the schedule to play big guys throughout the season,” Allatoona coach Markus Hood said. “Being a smaller team, we’ve found ways to defend it.
“Our boys did a great job on (Holloway) tonight. We kept him off the boards. A lot of their offense is predicated on offensive rebounding, and we did a great job of keeping them off the boards as well.”
The key for the Bucs was senior Daniel Fowler. Fowler, who often played in the post during the night, finished with a team-high 15 points. His ability to stretch the Jaguars’ defense and run the floor was key, but Hood credited his entire team’s defensive effort for their ability to stay in fast breaks.
“For us to run in transition, everything starts with our defense,” Hood said. “We didn’t give up any uncontested shots in the first half.”
Allatoona never trailed after taking a 7-5 lead 3 minutes into the contest.
After New Manchester cut the score to 12-9, the Bucs went on an 11-0 run with Holloway in early foul trouble. Senior guard Joe Boyer was held in check for much of the first half as well, finishing with just two baskets in the first half despite an attacking mentality.
The Bucs took advantage of getting into the bonus early and earned a 36-18 halftime lead with a flurry of second-quarter free throws. Two quick baskets at the start of the third quarter would pull New Manchester within 36-22, but the Jaguars would not get any closer.
Allatoona guards Bradley Brevet and Trey Tshimanga added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
A few college scouts were in the house to watch Fowler, but they might find themselves hard pressed to get him away from Hood.
“I’m trying to figure out how to get a fifth year out of him,” Hood said. “He is the best player in the state of Georgia that is unsigned, I think.
“He can play the point, the post, defend, he’s got a high IQ. Beyond that, he’s a character kid. That’s what I love most about him.”